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Please begin with an informative title:

Texas' real-life redistricting, as we all know, has left something to be desired. Communities are divided, the VRA is mostly disregarded, and competitiveness is unheard of. I've tried to remedy these problems with this latest CD map.

This map tries to follow criteria similar to those used by the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, as I feel it's one of the better systems. My goals were as follows:

1. Adherence to the VRA
2. Following of COIs
3. Creation of competitive districts where possible

Without further ado, the modified map!

Intro

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

District numbers are retained from the actual map in order to better compare the changes to districts.

TX-1: Louis Gohmert (R)
This remains politically similar to the actual map- a generic East Texas district centered around Tyler. Safe R

TX-2: Ted Poe (R)
Ted Poe's district sees changes, as it is now covers Northwest Harris County over through to Kingwood, pulling out of downtown Houston. Deep red suburbs. Safe R

TX-3: Sam Johnson (R)
Another largely unchanged district, this covers most of Collin County. Red DFW suburbs. Safe R

TX-4: Ralph Hall (R)
Another East Texas seat, covering Texarkana over west into the outskirts of DFW. Safe R

TX-5: Joe Barton (R)
This is where the major changes begin. The rural portions of 5 and 6 are combined into one district, which has Joe Barton's home, and possibly the current 25th's occupant Roger Williams. Jeb Hensarling, the former occupant, is likely left to take his chances in Dallas, or move into this district to fight Barton. Safe R

TX-6: Marc Veasey (D)
This is essentially the Tarrant County portions of Veasey's and Barton's districts. Plurality Hispanic, but with a significant African-American population and functions as a successor to Veasey's seat. Safe D

TX-7: John Culberson (R)
Culberson is in for the fight of his political life as he is thrown into a new crossover district in West/Southwest Houston. Politically, this is a far more democratic seat (58%), but not quite a guarantee. As the decade wears on it would become even more Hispanic. (Note: switched to western Hispanic precincts from inner white ones) SSVR: 18.1%. Likely D

TX-8: Kevin Brady (R)
This remains relatively unchanged from the current map. The district centers on Montgomery County, with more suburbs in Harris and some rural territory for population equality in Liberty and San Jacinto Counties. Safe R

TX-9: Al Green (D)
This African-American opportunity seat now goes deeper into Fort Bend and grabs a significant Asian population to re-unify the northern part of the County. Politically, it remains similar. Safe D

TX-10: OPEN
This district takes the leftovers of Harris and Fort Bend Counties and throws in some rural territory to the west. While there is technically no incumbent, Michael McCaul represents a large amount of this area now and is left without a real successor district, as does Pete Olson, who might choose this district over the neighboring 22nd. Safe R

TX-11: OPEN
This safe R seat covers West-Central Texas, including Abilene and San Angelo. While there is no incumbent living here, Mike Conaway might choose to run here to avoid the primary in the 19th, as this blood red territory isn't changing hands. Safe R

TX-12: Kay Granger (R)
This seat is largely unchanged, a safe Tarrant County seat that dips into Parker County. Safe R

TX-13: Mac Thornberry (R)
Similar to the actual map, this centers around Amarillo and Wichita Falls, and covers the Panhandle. Safe R

TX-14: OPEN
This district covers the Port/Oil-based economies of Jefferson County (Beaumont), Galveston County (Southern Mainland and the Island), Chambers County, and the Baytown region of Harris County. This district went narrowly for Obama, but is several point more Democratic locally. This is a perfect seat for former Representative Nick Lampson to run, or State Representative Craig Eiland if Lampson declined. Lean D with the above two, Tossup with anyone else

TX-15: Ruben Hinojosa (D)
McAllen based Hispanic seat. SSVR: 77.7%. Safe D

TX-16: Beto O'Rourke (D)
El Paso seat. Hispanic dominated. SSVR: 65.0%. Safe D

TX-17: Bill Flores (R)
This Hill Country seat covers Waco, Temple, College Station, and Huntsville. Safe R

TX-18: Sheila Jackson Lee (D)
African-American plurality seat in Houston, similar to the old one. Safe D

TX-19: Randy Neugebauer, Mike Conaway (R)
This compact West Texas seat has Odessa-Midland and Lubbock. Extremely Republican, and great for either of them. Safe R

TX-20: Joaquin Castro (D)
Downtown San Antonio Hispanic District. SSVR: 50.0% Safe D

TX-21: Lamar Smith (R)
This district is comprised of the Northern San Antonio suburbs and Western Travis County, along with rural Central Texas territory. Safe R

TX-22: Randy Weber, Steve Stockman, Pete Olson (R)
This district mixes in the Republican parts of the old 14th, 22nd, and 36th. This district represents the NASA based community of Southeast Harris (Clear Lake) and Northern Galveston (League City and Friendswood), combined with most of Brazoria County. This would be an ugly primary, but would have the added benefit of likely removing Steve Stockman. Safe R

TX-23: Pete Gallego (D)
This is a more Democratic version of the 23rd in the current map. While only having a roughly even PVI, it still should be a win, is trending our way, and would consistently elect the Hispanic candidate of choice. SSVR: 53.7% Lean D

TX-24: Kenny Marchant (R)
This combination Tarrant/Dallas seat is structured like the current 24th- suburban DFW. Safe R

TX-25: Lloyd Doggett (D)
This finally does the logical thing and makes an Austin-based district entirely within Travis. Safe D

TX-26: Michael Burgess (R)
This is an almost entirely Denton County seat, similar to its predecessor. Safe R

TX-27: Blake Farenthold (R)
This is somewhat changed from his old seat, as it loses the Hispanic parts of Nueces and picks up more rural territory to the north. Farenthold may not live here, but he'd certainly run here. (Note: now grabs suburban Bexar County instead of a few rural counties) Safe R

TX-28: Henry Cuellar (D)
This district is mostly unchanged- a Laredo to San Antonio Hispanic seat. SSVR: 74.2%. (Note: removed from Bexar and Eagle Pass so as not to overpack) Safe D

TX-29: Gene Green (D)
Largely the same as the old 29th, another Hispanic majority seat. SSVR: 50.5%. Safe D

TX-30: Eddie Bernice Johnson (D)
This is still an African-American seat in Dallas. Safe D

TX-31: John Carter (R)
This is an interesting seat. It covers Williamson County, Bastrop County, and part of Bell County (Killeen). This district is slowly trending towards the Democrats, and in a good year we might be able to take this reddish-purple seat. Likely R

TX-32: Pete Sessions, Jeb Hensarling (R)
This district an extremely competitive Northeast Dallas seat, growing increasingly blue. It may be on the outer edges of competitive now, but by the end of the decade it would certainly be a battleground. Likely R

TX-33: OPEN
This is a new Hispanic seat in Dallas County, mostly containing Irving and part of the city of Dallas. While I don't know our bench well up here, there's likely no shortage of candidates in this part of town. SSVR: 30.1% Safe D

TX-34: Filemon Vela (D)
This district resembles the 2000s era CD-27. It runs from Brownsville into Corpus Christi, and is yet another Hispanic seat. (Note: changed to all of Nueces County, with split in Cameron County) SSVR: 61.5% Safe D

TX-35: OPEN (D)
This district looks a lot like the 35th in the current map. It takes in the Hispanic East Side of Austin and runs through Hays and Comal Counties into downtown San Antonio. Slightly weaker than most of the Hispanic seats, but there's plenty of fertile ground for candidates here. (Note: modified to make true VRA seat; performance for Dems notably increased to 62%) SSVR: 50.1% Safe D

TX-36: OPEN (R)
This is the remainder of the rural parts of the state, made mostly of the current 36th with pieces of the 8th and 1st. Steve Stockman represents the largest portion of it, but he's based in the Clear Lake part of the current district. No doubt there would be lots of action on the Republican side. Safe R

This leads to the following overall count:
18 Safe R
2 Likely R
0 Lean R
1 Tossup
1 Lean D
1 Likely D
13 Safe D

VRA stats:
9 Hispanic
3 African American
2 Crossover
2 Plurality White

This increases minority representation, and increases the number of competitive seats from just 1 to potentially 4-6 competitive races, while better adhering to COIs. It also more fairly creates safe seats, to a point much more in line with the state's political leanings.

EDIT: I've done some work on Houston and San Antonio to address wwmiv's concerns on those areas. DFW and one of the South Texas seats remain to be changed.

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to deladem on Mon May 06, 2013 at 10:18 PM PDT.

Also republished by TexKos-Messing with Texas with Nothing but Love for Texans.

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