The Texas House on April 29 approved revised political maps as part of the decennial redistricting process. The redrawn districts, which still must be approved by the Texas Senate and signed by the governor and ultimately survive legal scrutiny, dramatically changed some districts, while others remained largely the same. The process is political, and Republicans drew some districts to preserve their majority, while also taking into account population and minority representation. These interactive maps show a before-and-after view. Use the slider over each image to see the changes and how they would have affected the 2010 governor's race. See a related story or see background information on our redistricting topic page. Or view interactive maps of the before and after versions.
STATEWIDE: Texas is a majority-Republican state, as evidenced by the sea of red representing support for Gov. Rick Perry. But districts in the Rio Grande Valley and El Paso remain largely Democratic under the new maps:
BEXAR COUNTY: The most notable change is the makeup of the district held by freshman state Rep. John V. Garza, R-Helotes, whose district under the new map would lean Republican. Rep. Tracy King, D-Batesville, lost Uvalde County to the west, but his district, which stretches to the Mexican border, remains Democratic.
TARRANT/DALLAS COUNTIES: This map didn't change too much, largely because Democrats in this area represent minority constituencies, but Republican Reps. Joe Driver and Cindy Burkett are now "paired," which would require them to face one another if they both seek re-election in the newly drawn district:
EL PASO COUNTY: Freshman Rep. Dee Margo, R-El Paso, now has a more GOP-friendly district, thanks to the proposed changes. The other districts in the area remain Democratic, and Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Alpine, saw his district grow more Democratic:
HARRIS COUNTY: Like Dallas County, the map doesn't change much politically because of minority-opportunity districts in Houston, but Democratic Reps. Hubert Vo and Scott Hochberg are now paired into a southwest Harris County district (149). The district held by Rep. Jim Murphy, R-Houston, who defeated a Democrat to reclaim his seat in 2010, now leans Republican, according to the 2010 governor's race results:
NUECES COUNTY: Interesting changes here. The proposed map collapses state Rep. Todd Hunter, R-Corpus Christi, entirely into the county. Hunter, who chairs the important House Calendars Committee, now also represents Aransas, San Patricio and Calhoun counties to the north and west of Corpus Christi. The result is a map that pairs two freshman Republicans, reps. Connie Scott and Raul Torres, one of the GOPs new Hispanic representatives.
TRAVIS COUNTY: This map shows the effort by Republicans to preserve the gains this delegation made in 2010, which GOP Reps. Paul Workman, R-Austin, and Larry Gonzales, R-Round Rock, swept out Democratic incumbents. Workman's new district now leans Republican, and Gonzales' is now safer for a Republican.
THE VALLEY: As we've noted, the most obvious change here is the redrawing of Rep. Aaron Peña's district, which was heavily Democratic in 2010. Peña switched parties after the election, joining the Republicans, and his district now would have voted for Perry. The district is still a toss-up: