Monday, the House Redistricting Committee met to consider the proposed House district boundaries during the ongoing special legislative session.
The public got their first look at the proposed boundaries last week and one of the more notable takeaways from the boundary changes is House District 92, currently represented by State Rep. Jeff Cason (R-Bedford).
Cason represents the only Republican-held district that is drawn in such a way to advantage Democrats instead of shoring up Republican support as others seem to do. Activists that testified in the committee hearing asserted their opposition to the proposed change, citing concerns that Cason himself was being targeted by House leadership.
Proposed District Versus Current District Comparison
The current House District 92 boundary exists solely in Tarrant County and encompasses the cities of Euless, Hurst, Bedford, and a portion of Arlington.
In the proposed map, the boundaries change to only include a portion of the cities of Bedford, Euless, and Arlington and no longer includes a large portion of Hurst.
The President of the True Texas Project, a conservative activist organization with chapters around the state, Fran Rhodes waited hours to testify in front of the committee against the proposed maps, expressing specific objection to the proposed boundaries for House District 92.
“I am not a resident of HD92, but I am a resident of Tarrant County, and I believe this newly drawn HD92, if left to stand, is going to be the final nail in the coffin that turns Tarrant County Blue,” said Rhodes. “The Democrats have been trying for many years to turn Texas Blue, and this new district might be the thing that does it.”
Rhodes went on to say, “This newly drawn district will give the democrats a beachhead in northeast Tarrant County that they didn’t have before, giving them a place to rally forces and work to spread their influence. This decision could eventually influence our local county commissioners court, and city councils if Democrats gain influence and power in a traditionally Republican area.”
Another activist, Sheena Rodriguez and a resident of House District 92 also indicated she was against the proposed district boundaries
“As elected state officials, regardless of your party affiliation, every single member of this committee is obligated to ensure that the will of the people is heard,” said Rodriguez.
“Thankfully, so many constituents are paying far more attention to every single vote and are making a conscientious effort to remain informed. With redistricting impacting the future of our great state, I am hopeful that I will have the ability to report to my friends and fellow voters, particularly in the Corpus area and along South Texas, that their representatives did the right thing by ensuring that conservative voices have been heard and District 92 will be left as is and keep HEB together as one.”
James Ashby, a resident of Euless and a current constituent of Cason, noted that under the proposal none of the previous officeholders that represented HD 92 would be within the district.
“The current state representative will be losing his entire hometown.”
When the proposed boundaries were first made public, Cason took to social media to express his displeasure. He said, “The redistricting maps recently released are an assault on the grassroots conservatives in Tarrant County. It’s an insult to voters in Tarrant County who have fought so hard for conservative representation. The map released doesn’t target a single Democrat, it targets me, the most conservative Republican representative in Tarrant County, and it gives most of my district to Tony Tinderholt, a dear friend and fellow fighter.”
Cason went on to allege, “The reason for this is simple; I am not a Republican who allows myself to be controlled by leadership, my vote belongs to you and not them. They reward members who give away their votes to leadership instead of independently representing their values of their voters.”
Cason also calls out two of his own Republican colleagues, “These maps were created with the approval of Craig Goldman and Stephanie Klick. They are two top chairmen and have the most pull in Tarrant County. We can only surrender a seat to Democrats and punish the most conservative Representative in Tarrant if they allow it. Unfortunately, it appears they planned it this way.”
Cason’s predecessor, former State Rep. Jonathan Stickland also said, “I’m furious to see what the Austin establishment has done to Hurst, Euless, and Bedford. They’ve put the entire community into a horrible position because of personal political vendettas. The residents/schools/and local governments will suffer because politicians are playing games. Shameful.”
Cason has consistently been rated one of the most conservative lawmakers in the Texas House of Representatives. Texans for Fiscal Responsibility rated Cason with a 95 of 100 on their fiscal responsibility index. In the Rice University Index Cason was rated the 11th most Conservative lawmaker of 150 that were rated.
What is Next?
The proposed boundaries will have to be voted out of the House Redistricting Committee before being considered by the overall House of Representatives. The proposed boundaries for State Senate districts, U.S. Congressional districts, and State Board of Education districts are also currently making their way through the legislative process.