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The redistricting process gets started in the Lege

From the Trib:

The public version of drawing new congressional maps for Texas started [Thursday] morning with committee hearings and the unveiling of a proposal from a coalition that insists at least two of the four new districts should have Latino majorities.

The chairmen of the Senate and House committees that will draw those and other maps, meanwhile, both said today that they’ll be trying to draw new maps that are fair, that are legal, and that make the greatest number of legislators happy.

“The process won’t be driven by assertion or insistence but by the numbers,” said Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, at a TribLive event this morning sponsored by the Tribune. He said the Hispanic growth in the state is undeniable, but said that population is “diffused” throughout the state. It isn’t always easy to draw districts for a population that’s scattered throughout the state and not bunched in particular neighborhoods and geographic communities.

Rep. Burt Solomons, R-Carrollton and the head of the House Redistricting Committee, echoed that: “There’s been a lot of Hispanic growth in the state, but they’re not all in one place.”

Boy, where have we heard that before? So far, the process has been relatively tranquil, though that will likely end once we see a map or two. As Rep. Solomons said in the piece, blood will be shed, though this time it won’t just be Democratic blood. See Greg for some liveblogging of the first hearing.

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