Montgomery County commissioners approved a resolution against the Texas Senate’s proposed redistricting maps released Sept. 18, citing issues with the redrawing of Montgomery County districts.
The motion to adopt the resolution was unanimously adopted. Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley also voiced his concerns about divisions of school board districts in Magnolia, which would be split under separate proposed maps.
The adopted resolution cites Montgomery County’s “rural to urban” state compared to “urbanized” populations.
“At no time do we assert the splitting up our communities, neighborhoods, or cities populations with other districts, which erodes the current conservative representation that our citizens have continually voted for over the course of the last three decades,” the resolution said.
According to the current Senate maps, Montgomery County is divided into two Senate districts, districts 3 and 4, both of which overlap into several surrounding counties. Both districts are represented by Republicans with state Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, representing District 3 and state Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, representing District 4 after winning a special election in 2014.
In the first drafted map released by the Senate redistricting maps, however, the county is split between District 4; District 18, which would cross the border into Waller and Grimes counties; and District 7, which would cross into Harris County and include parts of Magnolia.
County Judge Mark Keough testified at the Senate’s first public hearings Sept. 24. Keough requested the Senate address the redrawing of Montgomery County on behalf of its constituents and their voting patterns. He suggested the county be contained within one Senate district.
Creighton submitted two amendments to the proposed maps, one of which would see the entirety of Montgomery County fall within Senate District 4 as well as parts of Harris, Galveston, Chambers and Jefferson counties. Those amendments, along with nine others from members of the Senate Redistricting Committee, are set for a third public hearing Sept. 28.
At the Commissioners Court meeting, Keough stressed the importance of communities of interest, which the Loyola Law School defines as a “a neighborhood, community, or group of people who have common policy concerns and would benefit from being maintained in a single district.” He also emphasized Montgomery County’s growth, stating in five years, three districts will not be enough for the county.
“In five years, Montgomery County would grow to the point where one or two districts at most would be the best for our population,” Keough told Community Impact Newspaper after the meeting.