GOP Rep. Blake Farenthold said Wednesday that he would run for re-election in 2018, even though his southern Texas district might need to be redrawn.
A federal panel ruled Tuesday that the boundaries for Farenthold’s 27th District and the 35th District, represented by Democrat Lloyd Doggett, violated the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act. The court ruled that the districts were drawn primarily on the basis of race. The Republican-controlled state government signaled it would appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.
“I believe the court errored in its decision and I trust the Supreme Court will get it right,” Farenthold said in a statement. “No matter what the Supreme Court decides, I plan to run for re-election.”
Doggett said Tuesday night that he also planned to run for re-election. He said the court’s decision showed that “[w]hat Republicans did was not just wrong, it was unconstitutional.”
The court concluded that Hispanic voters were placed into an Anglo-majority 27th District, and those Hispanic voters “were intentionally deprived of their right to elect candidates of their choice.”
In the 35th District, the court affirmed an earlier decision that voters were moved into the district “to intentionally destroy an existing [neighboring] district with significant minority population (both African American and Hispanic) that consistently elected a Democrat.”
Redrawing the lines to accommodate the court’s concerns could affect their partisan leaning and shift the lines in nearby districts. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales currently rates the 27th as Solid Republican and the 35th as Solid Democrat.