AUSTIN, Texas — New lawsuits have emerged. The Texas redistricting fight continues.
Candidates argue the Latino vote is being diluted. Texas Rep. Celia Israel said the state maps don't reflect the Latino population's growth.
"Ninety-five percent of that growth market is people of color," said Israel. "We got no added representation in the course of making these maps in a very strange year."
National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Texas State Director Elizabeth Bille said Latinos accounted for nearly half of Texas' population growth.
"You want to be able to elect elected officials that represent you, that represent issues and or interests that are interests of their community," she said.
That's why the Mexican American Legislative Caucus (MALC), a group of Latino members of the Texas legislature, are suing the state over the new maps.
"We're asking the federal government to factor in there was a dilution of minority representation in certain districts," said Israel.
MALC isn't alone in its legal challenge.
The first lawsuit was filed by groups representing Latino voters before the maps were even signed into law.
A group of North Texas residents, along with Texas Sen. Beverly Powell, are also suing. They said their district was gerrymandered to dilute minority voices.
During the Senate debate, the map's author, Texas Sen. Joan Huffman, said race was not a factor in how she drew the maps.
"I worked hard to balance these requirements by completing all drafting without the use of race and obtaining a thorough legal review as I deliberated on maps and any proposed changes," added Huffman.
However, political observers argue that in a state as diverse as Texas, race should be a factor.
Now, it's up to the courts to decide.
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