Redistricting Will Change East Texas Political Landscape
The Texas House is redrawing state legislative districts, as required every ten years. At first glance, it appears East Texas will lose at least two House seats, and Angelina County will be moved into a different House district and get a new state representative.
The first draft of the new maps would reduce the number of House districts in east Texas by two, by forcing the pairing of four state representatives, because of a population shift in the 2010 Census.
Trent Ashby, chair of the Lufkin 4B Corporation’s Joint Legislative Committee, says Angelina County is "going from being included in a group of four counties clustered around us to six stretching from San Augustine to Madison, which is on the other side of Interstate 45.”
Freshman state Rep. James White (R-Hillister) says this first map isn’t as bad as it could have been, but White would no longer be able to represent Angelina County. The new representative would be Marva Beck out of Leon County.
Walter Diggles, executive director of the Deep East Texas Council of Governments, says it’s important to remember this is just a proposal and a first draft of the plan.
Angelina County Chamber of Commerce president/CEO Jerry Huffman says we need to be prepared for changes because the new district lines are going to affect us one way or another.