Redistricting Passes House, Map Would Change Area Districts

The map that passed the house Friday means new congressmen for many East Texas counties, including Ralph Hall's District 4, which would now shift well North of I-20.

Hall would no longer represent Tyler and Longview.

"Smith and Gregg [counties] have been so good to me, and they've been good folks," he says.

Both Smith and Gregg would be in Congressman Max Sandlin's District 1.  Sandlin was unavailable for comment Friday, but Hall says the two largest cities in East Texas needed to stay together, and that's what he pleaded Capitol leaders in Austin to do.

"They need to be together to have political strength for University of Texas [at Tyler] and other political needs. They have political strength if both those counties are together," he says.

But will Hall, Sandlin, and Crockett congressman Jim Turner be able to keep their seats? Turner's District 2 is moved out of East Texas altogether. And, Hall says the introduction of more Republican Tyler and Longview voters into the new 1st District might spell big trouble for Democrat Sandlin.

"I think those boys will have a hard time running against a reputable Republican candidate," Hall says.  As for Hall, he hasn't decided if he'll run again for Congress. As for the map, it's on it's way to the Senate.