“We appreciate the court's efforts, but their maps are far from accurate representation. These maps may be slightly better than those passed by a radical legislature but they still grossly misrepresent the demographics of our state. The Texas Democratic Party will continue to support our allies who are fighting to ensure that all communities are accurately represented.”The interim plan makes a hatchet job of Travis County, splitting the Austin area into no less than five congressional districts. And it reinstates the previous version of Congressional District 35, designed to target Austin's longtime liberal Congressman Lloyd Doggett by pushing him out of his Austin base and into shaky ground: a heavily Hispanic district weighted in San Antonio. (The old interim maps previously drafted by the San Antonio judges gave Doggett back his Austin-based district).
“As an effective advocate for schools, veterans, health care and retirement security, my service fits well with the neighborhoods that have now been joined from South San Antonio to North Austin. I will continue the visits with working families that I already have underway. And I will continue to stand up to Rick Perry and other extremists, whose misguided policies are threatening our families' security.”Naturally, Doggett's next major campaign event is an April NCAA watch party and fundraiser here in town, hosted by local Democratic Party stalwarts Mikal and Tammy Watts. Former Congressman Ciro Rodriguez, who lost to freshman GOP Congressman Francisco “Quico” Canseco last election cycle, has already said he'll run in the new District 35 instead of challenging Canseco for his old seat. Shortly after the court issued the new maps, Bexar County Tax Assessor/Collector Sylvia Romo announced she'll also run in the Democratic primary for newly-formed district.