AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – A three-judge panel says that the only way to keep the Texas primaries on April 3 is for all sides to agree on temporary political maps within two weeks.
The federal court was responding to motions filed by the Texas attorney general and minority groups contesting the congressional and legislative maps drawn by the Legislature.
Attorney General Greg Abbott asked the court to move quickly to draw temporary maps so that Texas can hold its primary on April 3. The minority groups wanted time to present evidence for what they think the maps should look like. That would delay the vote.
The judges asked the parties to agree on a temporary map by Feb. 6. Without that, the judges said the vote could be delayed or split into two dates.
On Jan. 16, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn said he doesn’t expect the primary to be held on April 3 and called the delay “not desirable.”
Should the primary be delayed, the state’s Republic Party chairman has said one possible solution is to have a primary for the presidential race first and a separate primary for congressional and state legislative seats.
Should that happen, the taxpayers will take a hit: Those in Collin County would shell out about $300,000 more.
Those who reside in the larger Dallas and Tarrant Counties would pay about $800,000 more, according to state Republican party estimates.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)