The latest ruling by a federal three-judge panel in San Antonio was described by one area newspaper as “out with the old and in with the old, again.”
This time the new congressional district map places Bee County just to the north of the center of a district that takes in all or part of 11 counties extending from part of Gonzales County in the north to part of Hidalgo and all of Cameron County in the south.
Other counties in the district include DeWitt, Goliad, part of San Patricio, Jim Wells, Kleberg, Kenedy and Willacy counties.
The district, number 34, would be a new one and it does not have a representative.
The map does exclude Live Oak County from the district and lumps that county in District 15 with a 17-county spread that goes from Gillespie and Blanco counties in the north to most of Hidalgo County in the south.
It also includes Kerr, Kendall, Real, Bandera, Comal, part of Wilson, Karnes, Duval, Jim Hogg and Brooks counties.
That district is represented by U.S. Rep. Rubén Hinojosa, who currently represents Bee County.
The question on every county clerk’s mind was when, and if, there would be primary elections in Texas. It had been pretty much universally accepted that primaries for both the Republicans and Democrats would be held on May 29. But reports indicate that may not be the case.
Although the primaries could be held on that date, it is suspected that minority rights groups which filed the original suits over the redistricting lines could be taking the new map back to court.
State elected officials in Beeville for a recent tour of the Sikorsky Aerospace Maintenance facilities at the Chase Field Industrial and Airport Complex said the primaries could be pushed into the summer months this year.
One report said the League of United Latin-American Citizens could file a lawsuit that would push the primaries into August.
Some Hispanic groups have complained that their votes were being diluted by the new district lines.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.