The Austin Chronicle

Doggett Seat a Sticking Point in Redistricting

By Richard Whittaker, February 17, 2012, News

It seems the GOP is hell-bent on gerrymandering Travis County – even if it ruins any chance of an April primary. As the Chronicle went to press, Attorney General Greg Abbott's staff and lawyers representing a broad coalition of voters' rights groups were scheduled to wrap up two days of hearings in San Antonio. A deal was quickly struck on the senate maps, but House and congressional compromises proved evasive. The sticking point was Congressional District 25, anchored in Travis County and currently held by Democrat Lloyd Doggett. While the plaintiffs argue the GOP gerrymander violates the Voting Rights Act, Abbott wrote that "the State cannot compromise in this district and that may prevent a global compromise on the congressional map." The court had originally given the plaintiffs until Feb. 6 to reach an agreement; otherwise, filing deadlines and the 45 days required to mail would make it impossible to keep to the planned April 3 primary date. Even with the Senate agreement, an April date now seems impossible. After advice from election officials, the court is now looking at a May 29 date.

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