Redistricting may put area back in Paul鈥檚 District 14
Several of the plans being considered by state lawmakers for redefining Texas’ Congressional representation would have much of the Crossroads region being pulled out of the district represented by U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett and being placed into a district represented by someone they’re much more familiar with — U.S. Rep. Ron Paul.
Under several of the plans being currently considered by state lawmakers, the current Congressional District 25 would be completely re-drawn and Gonzales, Lavaca, Fayette and parts of Caldwell and DeWitt counties would become part of Paul’s district. Paul served as the U.S. representative for much of the area prior to 2009.
In several statements to the news media and in interviews this week, Rep. Doggett said the congressional redistricting was designed particularly to target him in partisan fashion because Republicans are angry over the so-called “Doggett Amendment,” a rider on a defense appropriations bill last year which held up some $830 million in federal education funds contingent on the state’s government directing spending as directed by Washington. Texas was the only state to have such strings attached, and the amendment came when Gov. Rick Perry faced a stiff re-election campaign.
“Apparently, Tom DeLay (in 2000) did not go far enough for my colleagues Mr. [Lamar] Smith and Mr. [Michael] McCaul,” Doggett said in a press conference in Austin this week in which he complained that in an effort to oust him and dilute the traditionally-liberal Travis County voting base, Republicans “have offered to the Texas Legislature a map last week that divides Travis County not in three ways but in four ways.”
Paul’s office did not immediately comment on the plans, but Doggett’s opponent in the 2010 race, Republican Dr. Donna Campbell of Columbus, said she’s taking a “wait-and-see” attitude until the final lines are set.
“There are numerous maps out there,” Campbell said in a telephone interview Tuesday.”The ones I’ve seen, I don’t know that they’re really designed to give Republicans as much favor as they are to level the playing field for everyone.”
Campbell ran a close race against Doggett in 2010, carrying all but one county in the district — Travis County. Travis County’s margin of victory gave Doggett a 15,000-vote edge.
Campbell said that regardless of the plan, she intends to challenge Doggett again.
“I am not looking at it, I am running against Mr. Doggett,” she said. “Central Texas needs a conservative voice in Congress. I’m a rural girl. It doesn’t matter where I live, I will challenge Mr. Doggett again.”