The Texas Senate approved its redistricting map Monday and it includes changes to a North Texas Senate district.
For the last 10 years, Senate District 10 has been positioned entirely in Tarrant County. If the new map stays the way it was approved, seven more counties would be added, and the district would include a smaller portion of Tarrant County.
State Sen. Beverly Powell (D-Fort Worth), who represents District 10, said she was frustrated by the new map.
“I was elected by a coalition of minority voters, of Hispanic, African-American and Asian population voters with a crossover of Anglo voters, so it’s been my pleasure to represent all of those populations," she said. "This district becomes far more Anglo with a rural element added to it."
The new district would likely lean more Republican because of the changes. The new map splits minority populations in Mansfield and Fort Worth, according to NBC 5's media partner The Dallas Morning News.
“The same issues that are important to agrarian populations, or populations that are in rural areas, are very different than what we see in urban areas,” Powell said.
Lone Star Politics
Covering politics throughout the state of Texas.
During the vote on the maps, Powell asked Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston), chair of the redistricting committee, about the new boundaries.
“The core in my belief is still there," Huffman said. "It is a Tarrant County-based Senate district."
Huffman defended the maps, saying she followed the law, and that the maps are compliant under the Voting Rights Act.
“As I said, we considered many factors in drawing these lines, racial constituencies was not one of them,” Huffman said.
“The Senate’s map that passed today is fair and legal, and passed with bipartisan support," Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said in a written statement. "This map illustrates our commitment to making sure every Texan is well-represented in their state legislature and their voices are heard. I want to thank Sen. Huffman for her leadership, and the 30 other senators for their hard work.
Three Democrats voted for the map and one Republican voted against it. The map now goes to the Texas House.
Powell said she would be watching what happens next.
Click here to listen to the latest episode of the Lone Star Politics Podcast.