Texas Latinos: 1/3 of Population, 1/4 Majority Districts, 1/7 of Congressional Seats
Monday, June 04, 2012
Growth in the number of Latinos was single biggest reason why Texas was awarded four more congressional districts after the 2010 census. And yet when the next Congress convenes, Latinos are not expected to make gains in Texas’ delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Currently, Latino lawmakers account for five of Texas’ 32 representatives in Washington. By next year, Texas will have 36 representatives, but Latinos will probably still only number five in the delegation.
Nine of the 36 Texas seats next year will be from Latino-majority districts, but either three or four of these will be represented by non-Latinos. In one such district, state Rep. Marc Veasey, an African-American, is favored to defeat former state representative Domingo Garcia in a July 31 primary runoff.
The disparity is surprising to some, considering the fact that Latinos were responsible for 65% of the state’s population growth from 2000 to 2010. Overall, they make up 38% of Texas’ population, but only 25% of registered voters.
Some observers tried to put a bright spin on the unexpected outcome, arguing that Latinos can flex their political muscle in ways other than just electing Latino candidates.
“The purpose of increasing Hispanic political opportunities is not about sending more Hispanics to Congress. I don’t know why people think that way,” Nina Perales, a lawyer at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, told The Washington Post. “It’s about increasing the voice of Latino voters. They can elect whoever they want.”
To Learn More:
Texas Latinos Poised for No House Gains Despite Population Boom, New Districts (by Paul Kane, Washington Post)
Texas’s House Delegation Likely Won’t Reflect Hispanic Boom (by Pema Levy, Talking Points Memo)
- Top Stories
- Unusual News
- Where is the Money Going?
- U.S. and the World
- Appointments and Resignations
- Latest News
- Chemical Safety Board Accuses ATF of Interfering with Probe of Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion
- U.S. Energy Grid under Attack
- Texas Bill Allows Police to Seize Guns from People in “Mental Crisis”
- 4 States Pass Laws Hiding Names of Suppliers of Death Penalty Drugs
- Federal Government Charges Researchers with Using U.S. Grant to Help Chinese Commercial Spying