Entries in Congressional Districts (3)


Dems Could Gain Three Seats in Court-Drawn Texas Redistricting Map

Hemera/Thinkstock(SAN ANTONIO) -- While most Americans were still recovering from their Thanksgiving turkey-induced comas, Democrats in Texas were getting one step closer to gaining three Congressional seats in the traditionally red state’s redistricting battle.

After Democrats and Latino groups filed a lawsuit against the map drawn by the Republican-controlled state legislature, a San Antonio-based federal court redrew the map, which is expected to be finalized on Monday.

Texas, which grew by more than four million people over the past decade, picks up four additional House seats in light of the 2010 Census -- more than any other state.

Minorities accounted for 89 percent of the state’s growth in the past 10 years, with Hispanics alone comprising 65 percent of the state’s population growth over the past decade.

The map, which adjusts the legislature-drawn districts in an attempt to better represent the state’s burgeoning Hispanic population, makes at least three districts more competitive for Democrats by eliminating a Democratic primary challenge in the Austin-San Antonio area and creating two minority opportunity districts.

“This state is changing by the day and our members of Congress should represent those constituencies and not the other way around,” said Trey Martinez Fischer, chairman of the Texas House Mexican American Legislative Caucus, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit against the legislature’s map.

State Attorney General Greg Abbott, a Republican, immediately appealed for a stay on the map.

”It seems apparent that the proposed map misapplies federal law and continues the court’s trend of inappropriately venturing into political policymaking rather than simply applying the law,” Abbott said in a statement Wednesday.  “Perhaps worst, in the name of protecting Hispanic voting power, the court seems to be discarding already elected Republican Hispanics in favor of drawing maps that may elect Democratic Hispanics.”

Abbott’s appeal will likely go to the U.S. Supreme Court, where the justices will decide whether to make the San Antonio court re-draw the maps.

Martinez Fisher said a stay from the Supreme Court would be “problematic” because it would create further uncertainty over where the district lines will ultimately be and could possibly delay Texas’s primary election, which is scheduled for March.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Rep. Kucinich Will Stay in Ohio, Challenge Democrat for District

Kucinich [dot] House [dot] gov(CLEVELAND) -- Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich was so convinced earlier this year he would be left without a job after the next election in his home state of Ohio that he had seriously considered moving to another state -- Washington -- and running for Congress there.

Ohio will lose two Congressional seats in the next election -- victim of a contracting population and growth elsewhere -- and Kucinich, perhaps the most liberal member of Congress, was fearful that many of the liberal voters that made the core of his Cleveland district, would be dealt to districts elsewhere.

But the move of the liberal firebrand to the West Coast is not meant to be.  Kucinich announced via Twitter Wednesday that, “We have a district!”.

And in a note to supporters on his website, Kucinich wrote, “In a stunning development, the redistricting gave most of the Republican part of my old district to three incumbent Republican Congressmen and left most of the Democratic part of my district intact.  As a result, about 57% of registered Democrats in the new district come from my old district.  With your help I clearly have a good chance to be able to continue to serve the people of Ohio and to remain a strong and outspoken voice for jobs, peace, clean water and clean air, education and civil rights.”

What he didn’t mention is that by staying and running for reelection to Congress in the newly created district that fuses parts of Cleveland and Toledo, he’ll likely have to challenge current Rep. Marcy Kaptur, another Democrat, in a primary.  Kaptur has been in Congress, representing Toledo, since 1983.  Kucinich has served in Congress since 1997 and run for president twice in that time as a Democrat.

The moves, which were laid out by Republicans in Ohio, are not yet official.  But the GOP there controls the legislature and the governorship.  The top Republican in the House, Speaker John Boehner, has a keen interest in the Ohio delegation.  Two sitting Republican freshmen in the Miami Valley, Mike Turner and Steve Austria, will have to face off in a primary if either man wants to keep his job.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Census Moves 12 Congressional Districts

Photo Courtesy - Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Census data released Tuesday led to a seismic shift in the allocation of Congressional seats, with Republican-leaning Sun Belt states gaining seats and Democratic-leaning Rust Belt states losing.

Every 10 years, after the census gauges population shifts, government officials divvy up the nation's 435 seats in Congress. This year's census data resulted in a shift of 12 seats across 18 different states.

As demographic and redistricting experts predicted, Texas was the big winner, picking up four new House seats and capping seven consecutive decades of gains. The state now has a total of 36 seats.

Florida was second with two more seats, with the smaller Sun Belt states of Georgia, South Carolina, Arizona, Utah and Nevada picking up one each, and northwest Washington grabbing one as well. All but one of the gaining states have a Republican governor, implying long-term damage to Democrats for future elections.

The biggest losers were in the Northeast and Midwest, with New York and Ohio losing two seats each. Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania each lost one.

The congressional gains also mean a change in Electoral College votes. If the 2008 Presidential election had been held with the newly reapportioned Congress, President Obama would have gotten six fewer electoral votes; the growth was primarily in states that favored his opponent, John McCain.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio