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Newly proposed political boundaries in Texas open the door for a Weatherford Republican House member to target a Democratic incumbent in the upper house, and they reintroduce a first-year lawmaker to Parker County.
“I had a good freshman year,” Rep. Glenn Rogers, R-Graford said on Monday, noting he was carrying the bill adding a 13th teachers’ paycheck that was passed in special session this. summer.
Under new political maps proposed in Austin, but not yet fully approved, Rogers will run for a first full term representing Parker, Palo Pinto and Stephens counties.
According to the proposal, Rogers loses Hood and five other counties while retaining his home county of Palo Pinto and adding the southwest half of Parker County.
Parker County is now represented in the House by Republican Phil King of Weatherford, who has announced he will run for the Senate seat held by outgoing Democrat Beverly Powell.
King declined multiple interview requests last week, noting that the Senate map was not yet finalized.
King currently represents Parker and Wise counties, but a longtime Texas political observer said the proposed new Senate District 10 was designed for Republicans to take over.
King’s announcement last week denounced Texas Democrats as having “fully embraced the radical platform of their national party.”
“Now, because of the redistribution process that takes place every 10 years, it is possible to continue this fight in the Texas Senate,” he wrote, citing the Fort Worth-based Senate district “… currently represented by a liberal Democrat from Tarrant. County.”
Senator Powell immediately attacked the new district, issuing a statement recalling that a new district route in 2011 was dismissed by federal courts as “intentionally discriminatory.”
The district represented by Powell is heavily populated by brown and black minorities and lies entirely within Tarrant County. The redesigned proposal captures southern Tarrant County, then expands west to encompass Parker and Palo Pinto counties along with three others – all with few minority residents.
“Senate District 10 is an effective crossover district where Blacks (sic), Hispanics and Asian Americans vote in coalition to elect the candidate of their choice,” Powell wrote, hinting that she would run. a second term. “I will fight fiercely to protect them from this discriminatory attack on their constitutionally protected voting rights. “
Longtime Texas political observer Harvey Kronberg, founder and publisher of the Quorum online report, has designated Senate District 10 project as ripe for court challenge.
“This one seems to be so blatant and so deliberate that it may result in an appropriate racial definition for denying a district,” Kronberg said of the Senate District 10 proposal. “If I were a gambler, I would say (the courts) will react negatively to this neighborhood.
To the north, Senator Drew Springer, R-Muenster, has welcomed a new map giving his District 30 the northeast half of Parker County, including part of Weatherford.
“There are a lot of advantages to having two senators,” Springer said, referring to Parker’s County split on the proposal.
Springer came to the Senate last year in a special election after eight years in the Texas House of Representatives.
Graduating from Weatherford High School in 1985, he welcomed the opportunity to represent part of Parker County.
Neither he nor any of the officials interviewed for this story had heard of any potential opponents so early in the 2022 political cycle.
Springer and Rogers both said their proposed new districts would allow them to be both rural and urban voices. Springer noted the new Rivian electric vehicle plant at the western edge of Tarrant County.
“It’s going to have transportation needs, for us who work with TxDOT,” he said. “These are different issues than the ones we face in rural Texas.”
Springer also acknowledged that the upcoming race between King and Powell will be one to watch.
“Senate District 10 is probably the hottest topic of conversation right now,” he said. “Looks like it’s going to become a Republican neighborhood. “