1-6-04 - A three judge federal panel upheld the new GOP backed congressional redistricting plan for Texas on Tuesday. It means some significant changes for north Texas voters, pushing the District 4 boundary to Texarkana and excluding Tyler and Longview. You may remember, the redistricting issue has divided the Texas House and Senate. On two occasions, democratic lawmakers fled to Ardmore and New Mexico to keep Republicans from forcing a vote on the issue. Today, Democrats said they plan to appeal to the US Supreme Court. Today's ruling means Texas congressional candidates who filed for the March ninth primary using the old map will have to refile. Texas Secretary of State Geoff Connor says the supplemental filing period is January eleventh through the 16th. Texas has 16 Democrats and 16 Republicans in the U-S House. GOP officials say the new map could lead to a 22-to-10 GOP advantage. Republicans had pushed for a new map -- citing recent electiongains. Democrats claim the new congressional districts are unfair to minorities.
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