State Rep Cole Hefner is slated to represent Upshur County in a new redistricting plan approved by Texas House
Gilmer, Texas-- On Wednesday, the Texas House approved new political boundaries for the lower chambers' districts that would remove Upshur County from State Rep. Jay Dean's jurisdiction and place the county under the jurisdiction of State Rep. Cole Hefner.
Under the new plan, Dean would represent Gregg, Harrison, and Marion counties. Hefner would represent Rains, Wood, Titus, Camp, Smith, and Upshur counties. The new plan, titled House Bill 1 and authored by State Rep, Todd Hunter, chair of the lower chamber's redistricting committee, will now send the bill to the Senate for consideration. If passed in the Senate, the bill still must be signed by Governor Abbott to take effect.
Wednesday's vote of 83-63 occurred at the end of the third special session of the year ordered by Gov. Abbott and has focused on redrawing the state's congressional and Board of Education maps to more properly reflect the latest census data. It is important to note according to the census that 95% of Texas' growth was fueled by people of color over the past decade and the new redistricting map gives a voice to those residents that lacked a voice under the old map.
The new map includes 85 districts that are Republican and 65 districts that are Democrat which is reflective of the current representation in the State House. The current special session is scheduled to expire Oct.19. This deadline gives lawmakers 4 days to work out their differences and approve the new map or risk another special session.