Since the day the newly proposed GOP map surfaced, so did lawmakers announcing their intentions to run for redrawn districts that benefit them, and state Rep. Phil King (R-Weatherford) was no exception.
“Since a new Texas Senate map has been proposed that places Parker County in Senate District 10, I have received many encouraging calls from conservatives urging me to enter the race so we can defeat a liberal Democrat,” King said in a statement. “After prayerful consideration with my wife Terry and my family, should this map be adopted, I will make a formal announcement that I will be running for this seat.”
King, representative of District 61, announced on Monday he will be running for newly redrawn District 10 which has been recently designed as a Republican seat, an announcement that was immediately met with Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick’s endorsement.
“I have known and worked with Chairman Phil King of the Texas House for 14 years,” Dan Patrick said, 30 minutes after the announcement. “His lengthy legislative experience, his background in law enforcement, and his strong leadership skills are what we need in the Texas Senate.”
Rep. King, currently taking part on the State Affairs and the Higher Education committees, is a former police officer who has served in the House since 1999. Besides being a practicing attorney and small business owner, he’s Vice-Chairman on the Board of Directors of the Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute.
The district that Phil King is going after, is currently held by Sen. Beverly Powell, a Democrat who managed to flip the once Republican seat in 2018. Now redrawn, SD-10 has been seen by many as the clearest example of gerrymandering practices.
As the census data revealed, during the last decade, there was an exponential growth within the Black, Asian and Hispanic population in comparison with the white population, a crucial issue that was not taken into consideration in the latest redrawing.
As reported by the Texas Tribune, state Sen. Powell immediately called foul on the proposed map. The population of people of color in her district has grown over the last 10 years, while the white population has dropped. But the proposed map reconfigures the district to potentially give Republicans an advantage.“The proposed State Senate map is a direct assault on the voting rights of minority citizens in Senate District 10 and, if adopted, it would be an act of intentional discrimination,” she said in a statement. “The 2020 census revealed the population of Senate District 10 is nearly ideal. There is no need to make any changes to district lines. Moreover, since 2010, the minority population percentage within the district increased dramatically while the Anglo percentage has dropped. The changes now proposed are intended to silence and destroy the established and growing voting strength of minority voters in Tarrant County.”