Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday afternoon that the Texas Legislature will convene for a third special session on Sept. 20 to deliberate on, among other things, the redrawing of the state’s congressional districts.
The results could have a profound impact on Collin County’s representation in the United States Congress.
Because Texas has seen a population growth of over 4 million people since the 2010 census, the state will be apportioned two more congressional seats while states such as California lose one congressional seat. U.S. Census Bureau data suggests that amid the state’s population surge, Collin County encountered a 36.1% growth from the 2010 census.
The district which encompasses most of the county, Texas’s 3rd congressional district, is estimated to have increased in population by over 147,000 people.
“Unsurprisingly, Collin County experienced significant growth over the last decade as many individuals and families are leaving poorly run areas for communities like ours with strong local leadership, pro-growth policies, safe neighborhoods and excellent schools,” said the district’s representative, U.S. Congressman Van Taylor of Plano, to Star Local Media. “I was pleased to see the Texas House of Representatives conduct a redistricting field hearing during the interim right here in Plano to hear directly from Collin County residents. Our Legislature continues to actively seek public input on redistricting as they fulfill their Constitutional obligation to ensure balanced representation in government for Texans.”
Texas State Senator Angela Paxton of McKinney, who represents the state’s 8th state senate district, echoed a similar sentiment on the legislature’s transparency in saying in a Wednesday statement, "The Texas Senate is committed to a fair, transparent and legal redistricting process.”
Still, critics have accused Texas’s state legislature of partisan gerrymandering. A federal lawsuit was filed against Abbott last Wednesday by a coalition of Texas Democrats, who argued in the complaint that “the current statewide districting map for the State House and State Senate districts are malapportioned beyond what is permissible under federal and state law.”
Critics of Texas Republicans fear that the upcoming map will not uniformly represent minority voters despite a statewide growth in minority populations.
In the case of Texas’s 3rd district, white people comprised 67% of its population in the 2020 census compared to 73% in the 2010 census. Census data indicated that Asian constituents represent the greatest demographic shift, as they comprise 17.8% of the district’s population compared to 12.6% in 2010.