Texas has always been a key focal point in national redistricting, and a seemingly unrelated event announced yesterday could change the outlook. Texas House Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio), who has basically served as a coalition Speaker since he gets more support from the chamber’s Democrats than members of his own party, announced that he will retire from the state House. This means the body will have a new Speaker in 2019, one who will likely be more favorable to the Republicans’ redistricting position. That could become a major factor in dealing with lingering redistricting lawsuits if congressional or state legislative maps are ordered re-drawn, and certainly in the 2021 session where all district boundaries will again be re-drawn, post-census.
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