Gerrymandering: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a lower court applied an incorrect legal standard when it determined that 11 Virginia legislative districts were not racially gerrymandered. The lower court required plaintiffs to prove “an actual conflict between the enacted plan and traditional redistricting principles” when precedent establishes that “circumstantial evidence of a district’s shape and demographics” can sufficiently determine whether a district has been racially gerrymandered. The case was remanded to the district court to determine “the extent to which, under the proper standard, race directed the shape of these 11 districts.” The districts were drawn in 2011 to ensure at least 55% of the voting-age population in each was African-American. The court did not issue a ruling on a racial gerrymandering case involving North Carolina’s congressional districts, which was argued on the same day as the Virginia case.
New CTA: Mineral Wells resident Kimberly Olson has filed a campaign treasurer appointment with the Texas Ethics Commission but did not indicate which office she would seek. There is a retired Air Force colonel with that name who is the CEO and president of Grace After Fire, a nonprofit organization helping women veterans. She served as a Weatherford ISD trustee from 2007 until 2011. Mineral Wells is in SD30, represented by Sen. Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls), and HD60, represented by Rep. Mike Lang (R-Granbury). A small portion of Mineral Wells is in Parker Co., which is part of HD61 represented by Rep. Phil King (R-Weatherford).
Corpus Christi: At-large council member Joe McComb has filed for the special mayoral election, joining former Mayor Nelda Martinez. At least six other people have publicly announced their intentions to run. Filing for the May 6 special election continues through March 27.
Irving: A mayoral candidate represented by former Dallas Co. Republican Chair Wade Emmert is asking the Fifth Court of Appeals to place her on the May 6 ballot. Kristi Pena’s application was rejected by the city secretary, who was unable to confirm five of 38 signatures provided by Pena were from registered voters residing in the city. Striking those five signatures left Pena three short of the 36 required. The matter has attracted attention from Reps. Jodie Laubenberg (R-Wylie) and Matt Rinaldi (R-Irving), who have expressed support for Pena being placed on the ballot, and movement conservative group Empower Texans. Four other candidates qualified for the ballot in the race to succeed Mayor Beth Van Duyne, who is not seeking re-election.
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