Today is the deadline for opposing sides to agree on Texas election maps. Without an agreement federal judges in San Antonio have said the April 3 primary elections will be delayed again. KERA’s Shelley Kofler says that could further diminish Texas’ role in the presidential election.
Texas Republicans had hoped the state’s March 6 primary would come early enough so they’d have a big “say” in choosing the GOP presidential nominee. But a legal dispute over election boundaries has pushed the Texas primary back to April 3. Now federal judges have said they will delay the primary further if Republican lawmakers who drew the state’s maps don’t reach an agreement today with minority groups and Democrats.
The Texas Democratic Party’s Rebecca Acuna says don’t hold your breath.
Acuna: It s very unlikely there will be an agreement by Monday and an April 3 primary is looking less likely.
The Texas Republican Party’s Chris Elam says another delay would diminish the state’s influence.
Elam: What we do know is the further it gets pushed back there is a greater likelihood that the presidential race could be settled or be close to being settled. We do feel like there is a great opportunity for Texas to be a big prize in that presidential race.
Texas Democrats already know Barack Obama will be their presidential nominee so Acuna says they’re willing to delay the primary and their state convention for that matter.
Acuna: We just want to make sure the courts come out with the best possible maps that reflect the demographic reality for the state of Texas.
Democrats claim the Republican legislature’s election boundaries ignore a growing minority population. Democrats believe they can win three of the state’s four new congressional districts if election boundaries reflect that growth.
The courts have said the primary could be held as late as June if today’s deadline isn’t met.