Texas’ primary elections won’t take place until at least May 29 because of the ongoing battle over the state’s redistricting maps, a San Antonio federal court announced Wednesday. “It appears based on all the things that are going on here that it is extremely unlikely there will be a primary in April or for that matter before May 29,” said Judge Jerry Smith. “Based on the discussion we just had with the political parties, we asked that they start working on an election schedule.” The delegation of county election officials who came to the second day of the redistricting hearing was elated by the decision. Their leader, Bexar County Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen, told the court Tuesday that delays had made it impossible to hold the primary in April. “This feels like the weight of the world has been lifted off our shoulders,”Callanen said after Smith spoke from the bench. “This is a win.”
However, Texas Republican party officials worried that a May 29 primary would make it much more difficult to hold their state convention in early June. “We will be looking to try to figure out a different way to pick delegates,”said Steve Munisteri, chairman of the Texas GOP. “It’s going to make us a very busy party over the next couple of months.”
The announcement came after groups suing over the Texas Senate map reached a deal with Attorney General Greg Abbott that preserves the Fort Worth-based district of Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis, returning it to the shape it had before redistricting began. However, there were no indications during the two-day hearing in San Antonio that the groups were any closer to compromising on maps for the Texas House and congressional districts.