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GOP in Third Try at Texas Remap

September 10, 2003|From Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas — Republican Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday called a third special session of the Legislature to redraw Texas' congressional districts after Democrats thwarted two previous attempts by fleeing the state.

Perry said the session would begin on Monday.

During two previous GOP efforts to redraw Texas' congressional map, Democratic lawmakers left the state, depriving the Republicans of the quorum needed to conduct business.

The governor's announcement came after 10 Senate Democrats who have been in New Mexico boycotting the Legislature relented and announced that they would return to Texas and take part in a third special session.

Democrats have a 17-15 majority in the current Texas congressional delegation in Washington.

The GOP is pushing plans that would give Republicans as many as 21 seats.

Eleven Democrats slipped across state lines July 28 and stayed away for about six weeks to block legislative action on redistricting.

One of the 11, Sen. John Whitmire of Houston, defected last week and said he would attend another special session if the governor called one.

That left the 10 remaining Democrats without the numbers to block a quorum. Twenty-one of the Senate's 31 members must be present for business to be conducted.

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