In making his announcement Friday, Pena made clear implied he had no confidence Republicans would find success in getting the Supreme Court to intervene and block the court-drawn map from being implemented for the 2012 elections.
Peña has been a member of the Texas House since 2002. He switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party last December, insisting that the Democratic Party had moved too far to the left. During this year's legislative session, Peña's district was redrawn in a way more favorable to a Republican. The revised interim map issued by a federal court this week has Peña running in a district with a strong Democratic voting history.
Peña, one of the first members of the Texas Legislature to start blogging, made the announcement on his blog:
At the beginning of the legislative redistricting process I advised colleagues and map drawers that my goal was to present a map that gave every incumbent in the Rio Grande Valley a legislative district that they could win. We did just that. Unfortunately, the map drawn and designated by the three judge federal redistricting panel undid that work. The district I have been placed in is a 75% Democratic seat. It is unwinnable by me or any Republican candidate and I will not move into another legislative district to run against a colleague.
My decision to switch parties was met with derision by many who accused me of doing so as a quid pro quo. As I said then and is now evidently clear I did so because I felt it was the right thing to do rather than because I expected a political favor in return. Providing South Texans with a choice and forcing petty partisans to debate ideas rather than rely on the personality driven politics of the past is a decision I will never regret. The Rio Grande Valley is too dynamic, too diverse to be dominated by a single party that lets bullies thrive and enrich themselves and their cronies.
You can read the rest of Peña's blog post here.