East Texas Population Growth: Good News or Bad News?
Will the steady population growth in east Texas result in new Congressional seats? No one can say right now.
A state redistricting expert told a contingent of Lufkin and Angelina County officials and citizens Thursday that Census 2010 numbers to be released next week should show that East Texas’ population has grown “fairly steadily” — by between 10 and 15 percent — in the past decade.
Doug Davis, staff director for the Texas Senate Redistricting Committee, was one of several state officials who spoke to members of the Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce and its current Leadership Lufkin class in a committee room beneath the state capitol complex.
The state’s congressional lines are now unconstitutional because new Census figures require Texas to have 36 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives instead of the current 32, Davis said. The Texas Senate has the task of redrawing political boundaries, including those of the U.S. House representative districts.
Davis said it's too early to know if east Texas will get one of those new Congressional districts. “The fun in all this is there’s four (new) seats,” Davis said. “The bad news is there’s someone in all 254 Texas counties who thinks they deserve one.”