Borderline redistricting disorder

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Posted: Plaza De Armas

People close to the District 35 congressional race between San Antonio state Rep. Joaquin Castro and Austin Congressman Lloyd Doggett are now speculating that the district may yet gain some San Antonio voters and lose at least a bit of Austin when a panel of federal judges rules on redistricting lawsuits filed by various groups.

According to this theory, Doggett’s current base, District 25, would regain at least some of the Austin votes that were stripped away in this year’s redistricting process. At first glance, this could be a win-win for the dueling Democrats, because it would solidify Castro’s claim on the newly created District 35, and allow Doggett to run for another term in District 25, with a reasonable chance at victory.

While everything hinges on exactly where the lines are drawn for the two districts, word is that when the issue has come up for discussion in the Doggett war room, the Austin congressman has expressed his determination to tough it out in District 35, even if the boundary lines become more challenging to him. If Doggett is resistant to abandoning a District 35 race, some in the Castro camp are similarly less than eager to see Doggett go back to District 25. A District 35 race without Doggett would certainly make life easier for Castro, but there is also a school of thought within Castro’s campaign that he would enter Congress with much more status if he got there by knocking off a tough, wily political veteran such as Doggett, rather than cruising into office without a serious challenge.