In a war that has been fought in courtrooms from San Antonio to Washington D.C., three federal court justices issued a new set of re-districting maps today which may save the current May 29 election date for Texas primaries.
The maps look remarkably similar to a set that Wichita Falls native and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott recommended earlier during this prolonged process.
The debate between Republicans and Democrats in Texas has delayed the Lone Star State primaries from their original date in March to April and now until May 29.
Law enforcement in Wichita Falls will be affected by the primary election date because several positions pertaining to interpretation of criminal laws here will be on the line.
One of those positions is Wichita County Sheriff David Duke, who won a hard-fought campaign four years ago to follow longtime Sheriff Tom Callahan into the high profile office.
Now Wichitans will be able to vote for their favorite candidates May 29…….maybe.
No one is saying any election date is set in stone in this wild political season which began in 2011 with the Texas Legislature drawing up re-districting maps for primary elections.
The re-districting was made necessary by the fact the Texas population has exploded which entitles the Lone Star State to four new seats in Congress.
A lawsuit was filed by several minority groups claiming they were not fairly represented in the maps drawn up by the Texas Legislature.
A panel of three federal judges in San Antonio then re-drew the maps which made some minority groups and Democrats happier.
This decision was appealed all the way to the United States Supreme Court which threw out the San Antonio judges’ maps and ordered they be re-drawn to more closely re-flect the maps the Republican legislature drew.
Meanwhile, a federal district court in Washington D.C. in trying to determine if Texas is following the Voting Rights Act.
Back at the ranch, the San Antonio judges ordered the State of Texas and the groups suing it to negotiate a new set of maps which would follow the guidelines set down by the United States Supreme Court.
Texas top law enforcement officer Attorney General Abbott was the primary architect in hammering out a compromise among the disputing groups recently which was presented to the three-judge panel in San Antonio.
Today, the three judges issues an interim set of maps which could allow the primary elections to go forward on May 29.
The bad news is that not everyone is happy with the compromise maps issued today and further delays could occur if the ruling by the San Antonio court is once again appealed.
Some Texans are hopeful the state may still play a role in picking the GOP Presidential candidate now that another date has been selected.
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