Redistricting pits two Valley Democrats against each other
Thu, 01 Mar 2012 02:59:01 GMT — The latest Congressional map of Texas disappoints U.S. Congressman Ruben Hinojosa. It's a frustration he shares with fellow democrat Dolly Elizondo. "We wanted that extra seat," said Elizondo, Chair of the Hidalgo County Democratic Party. Both she and Hinojosa hoped growth in Hidalgo County would net another congressional seat for the county, represented by Hinojosa. "He grew up here, he has his residence here," said Elizondo. "He is very in tune to the needs of the Rio Grande Valley." Instead, Hidalgo County was split in three. One district is in Hidalgo County, one district is in part of Brownsville's area, and one district is in part of Laredo's area, represented by Democrat and U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar. "(Cuellar) represents the constituents of Laredo more than Hidalgo," said Elizondo. Hinojosa said Hidalgo County deserves its own representation. Congressman Cuellar's camp said three congressmen are better than one. "The more congressmen you have that are going to be protecting the interest of Hidalgo County the better," said Rolando Rios, Valley Voting Rights Attorney for Henry Cuellar. Rios represented Cuellar in his fight to keep Hidalgo County. Cuellar's attorney claims at least 20 local leaders as well as civil rights' groups testified on Cuellar's behalf to maintain his spot in Hidalgo County politics. Action 4 News also spoke with Valley republicans on the topic. Republican political analyst Hollis Rutledge said although congressional redistricting did not affect Valley Republicans very much, there was one significant outcome. He said now that a Congressional seat is based out of Brownsville, there is now a Congressman from all Texas border districts in the U.S. Congress. Before, the Congressional district that included Brownsville was based out of Corpus Christi.