‘This is what gerrymandering looks like’ says political science professor

BRONSVILLE, Texas (Valley Center) – On Tuesday, Texas Representative County 43 GM Lozano introduced an amendment to redraw Cameron County’s 37 and 38 counties.

“My reading of your proposed amendment, pulling my house from 37th District to 38th District — is that correct?” said Alex Dominguez, Representative for Texas, District 37.

“It’s drawing her to Area 38,” Lozano said.

Representative Lozano said during Tuesday’s debate that he grew up in the Rio Grande Valley and said unidentified people in Harlingen told him they wanted to redraw the map of District 37.

“Once people started hearing about potential retirements or people running for higher office, they said ‘Hey, we can be with Willacy’. [County] repeatedly? “Can we be a competitive area?” Lozano said.

Eddie Lucio III, the Texas state representative, said he did not believe Lozano had spoken to anyone from the Rio Grande Valley.

This is what Gerrymandering looks like, said University of Texas Rio Grande Valley president and professor of political science, Dr. Clyde Barrow.

“What that means is that you have very peculiarly shaped geographic constituencies designed to give a partisan advantage to the ruling party,” Barrow said. “It has often been used for the purposes of racial discrimination.”

Barrow said Gerrymandering in Texas often caters to rural communities that are mostly conservative.

“The reality is that 90% of people in Texas today live in urban areas, this is not a cowboy state anymore, and yet the issue that matters to urban people has not been taken up by the state legislature because of this manipulation,” Barrow said.

Even more shocking, Lucio and Dominguez said, was that this was the first time Lozano had mentioned it.

“This is very disingenuous,” Lucio said, “and it was submitted 10 minutes before the deadline for submitting alterations to this floor.”

Dominguez said that communities in unincorporated areas of Brownsville could be negatively affected.

“So these guys are — statistically the poorest people in Texas, and I’ve now lured them into an area to go see their representative, and they’re going to have to drive an hour to go see within the same county,” Dominguez said.

Lozano said his intentions were to make Area 37 more competitive using a map from 2011.

“That’s how it was in 2011,” Lozano said.

“Right, it was properly repaired by a republic administration at the time and everything that was supposed to have happened and was done has been done, so why go back again?” Lucio said.

Representative Dominguez’s spokesman said he will be ending his term, which ends in December 2022, and has not decided what he will do in the upcoming elections.

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