Lone Star Project founder Matt Angle said Republicans will “gerrymander districts” if they can and could put federally mandated Voting Rights Act districts at risk. The Lone Star Project is a Democratic group focused on influencing the redistricting process in Texas, the state projected to gain the most seats through reapportionment.
“The timing could not have been worse for a sweep by Republicans,” Angle added.
Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee Executive Director Michael Sargeant accused Republicans of playing “gerrymandering games” and putting partisanship above the interests of voters given Gillespie’s 15- to 25-seat pickup prediction.
“It’s telling that the Republicans want to brag about their intentions to place partisan considerations above the interests of voters in their states when they’re in control of the redistricting process,” he said.
The DLCC has been working since 2001 to take control of state legislatures and increase the party’s influence on next year’s redistricting, and it spent $10 million on its efforts. The DLCC is the only group that helps Democrats solely at the state legislative level, but the Democratic National Committee also made political and monetary decisions based on redistricting.
Still, Storey wrote Wednesday that Republicans had a historic night in all regions of the country, including the South, which is expected to gain a handful of seats after reapportionment.
“In the South, Republicans now control 18 of the 28 legislative chambers and a majority of all southern legislative seats for the first time since reconstruction,” Storey wrote on the NCSL website. “Prior to the election, each party held 14 southern chambers, and just 20 years ago, there were no legislative chambers in the south held by the GOP.”
After picking up 19 chambers, the GOP controls 56 of the 98 partisan legislative chambers nationwide. Democrats hold 38 chambers, one is tied and four remained up in the air as of press time.
Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (Ga.), who is leading the National Republican Congressional Committee’s coordinated redistricting efforts, said the elections were about more than just Tuesday’s victories: “Winning these state Houses and state Senates is going to pay off for the next decade.”
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.