Texas’s Redistricting Map Could Send a Black Republican to Congress

Minorities hope to capture three of the state’s four new congressional states.

Posted: 06/11/2011 08:10 PM EDT
Filed Under redistricting

Michael Williams

Black lawmakers in Texas are for the most part pretty unhappy with the redistricting map that the Republican controlled state legislature has proposed. They believe that it does not adequately reflect the state’s diverse population that has enabled it to create four new congressional seats. At least three of those seats, the map’s critics say, should be filled by a minority.

 

The map is looking pretty good to former railroad commissioner Michael Williams. That’s because he’s a Republican and if the map’s lines are implemented, one of those new seats will be in Arlington, Texas, his hometown. Since January, Williams has been campaigning to fill the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Kay Bailey Hutchinson. He is well-liked, but it has been difficult for Williams to keep pace with other candidates vying for the seat in terms of fundraising. The House seat is probably a more realistic path to Capitol Hill for him.

 

“I think Williams would be a strong candidate for the House seat because he has laid a lot of groundwork in his run for the Senate with various Texas stakeholders in and outside of the party,” said one Black Republican operative. “He’s a solutions-driven, problem-solver kind of guy and thus will be a serious candidate.”

 

Williams will probably be able to get more support for his House bid because the state GOP won’t want to lose so serious and popular a candidate.

(Photo: Mike Segar/Reuters)

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