Texas GOP advances new maps that would tighten slipping grip

Redistricting-Texas

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Republicans on Saturday night closed in on redrawn U.S. House maps that would shore up their eroding dominance as voters peel away from the GOP in the state’s booming suburbs.

In a key late-night vote in the Texas House, Republicans gave early sign-off to new congressional boundaries that would give them more breathing room after some close calls in 2018 and 2020, while also opening a new path for the GOP along the border with Mexico.

But in a preview of legal challenges to come, Democrats spent hours blasting the maps as discriminatory and all but blind to the state’s surging number of Latino residents, who made up more than half of the nearly 4 million new Texans over the past decade. Many live around Dallas and Houston, where under the GOP-engineered maps, there would be no new districts that give Latinos a majority.

Republican state Rep. Todd Hunter, who has presided over the redrawn maps in the House, defended the changes and said they comply with the law.

The maps will still need final negotiations in the coming days between the House and Senate before being sent to Republican