Negotiators in San Antonio -- trying to find common ground on state legislative and congressional districts so a primary date in Texas that can stick may finally be set -- agreed to leave unchanged state Senate District 10, now represented by state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth.
This district has been the subject of lawsuits and is seen as a big win for Davis.
Last year, Fort Worth-based Senate District 10 was a key target for Republicans in the Legislature during redistricting. The Senate map the Legislature approved cut out heavily African-American areas in south and southeast Tarrant County and Hispanic areas in north Fort Worth. It also added Republican-leaning parts of Northeast Tarrant County, including North Richland Hills, Richland Hills, and Watauga. The new map was widely seen as more favorable to Republicans. Davis sued, accusing Republican leaders of violating the Voting Rights Act and disenfranchising minority voters in her district.
Earlier today, Davis' posted the following celebratory tweet:
SD10 partners victorious on preserving&strengthening '08 district.Lege damage repaired. Thanks to all who supported&believed. #txlege— Wendy Davis (@wendydavistexas) February 15, 2012
The ruling leaves state Rep. Mark Shelton of Fort Worth as the only Republican currently running against Davis.
State Rep. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, had also launched a campaign to run against Davis but doesn't live in the district under the current deal. Hancock has said he would run in neighboring Senate District 9, currently represented by Arlington Republican Chris Harris who is retiring, if District 10 was no longer an option. Two other Republicans, state Rep. Rodney Anderson of Grand Prairie and former state Rep. Toby Goodman, are also currently running for the District 9 seat.
Even with her district unchanged, Davis is still expected to be in a competitive race this year. Davis, a former Fort Worth city councilwoman, won her senate seat in 2008 with just 49.91 percent of the vote. She defeated incumbent Republican state Sen. Kim Brimer, who pulled in 47.52 percent support. Libertarian Richard Cross drew 2.56 percent.
Here's how Senate District 10 is currently drawn, and how it will stay for the next election under the current deal (the other North Texas districts will likely look different):
-- Anna M. Tinsley and Aman Batheja