AUSTIN (KXAN) — The proposed Texas congressional map unveiled by Texas lawmakers Monday would split Williamson County, if approved as is.
Currently, Williamson County sits entirely within District 31 and is represented by Republican Rep. John Carter of Round Rock.
The draft map instead carves into the county at its southern border and places Round Rock within District 17, currently held by Rep. Pete Sessions, also a Republican. District 10 and the newly-created District 37 would also cut into Williamson County under the plan.
Former Pres. Donald Trump easily carried Williamson County in the 2016 general election, but Pres. Joe Biden narrowly won the county in 2020.
State legislators are currently redrawing the congressional map, along with state House, Senate and board of education maps as part of the third special session. Texas is set to receive two new congressional seats as a result of the 2020 U.S. Census. Houston is slated for one seat, Austin the other.
Communication and political science professor Dr. Richard Pineda told KXAN while the map appears to strengthen Republican incumbents across the state, proving the lines are drawn for political purposes is always tricky.
“(Republicans have) a little bit of a defense, saying, ‘Listen, you can’t prove that this is gerrymandering. We’re just making adjustments to population shifts,” Pineda said.
KXAN reached out the Republican National Committee for comment on the map.
“Texans are eager to see Republicans win up and down the ballot as Democrats continue to show that they do not care about Texas on issue after issue,” said RNC Spokesperson Macarena Martinez. “The GOP is looking forward to seeing the final maps from the redistricting process and will continue to fight for conservative values across Texas in the next elections.”