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New District in Texas Promises a Scramble for Congress


The following ran in the May 12, 2012, edition of the New York Times. Political Science Professor Cal Jillson provided expertise for this story.

May 16, 2012

By Emily Ramshaw

Want to guarantee a campaign throwdown? Toss 2 major American cities, 2 large minority populations and 15 candidates into one newly drawn Congressional district.

The primary battle in Congressional District 33, a horizontal swath that spans Dallas and Fort Worth, has the makings of a political circus. Eleven Democrats are vying for the district, home to politically active black communities and a voting-age population that is more than 60 percent Hispanic. Two Republicans, a Libertarian and a Green Party candidate are also running, though the district’s population has voted overwhelmingly Democratic in the last two statewide elections....

Calvin C. Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University, said that on the Democratic side, the May 29 primary will simply narrow the field for a July runoff — where he expects to see Mr. Veasey and Mr. Garcia.

Dr. Jillson said that despite Mr. Garcia’s widespread name recognition, he thinks Mr. Veasey could edge him out because much of Mr. Veasey’s state House district is in the new Congressional district.

“As the Hispanic population growth continues and, one assumes, voter turnout increases, the weight of this district may well tilt toward Dallas,” Dr. Jillson said. “Currently, it tilts toward Fort Worth.” ...