Texas primary date up in the air

The planned April primary in Texas is now almost certain to be pushed back to May or even June, threatening to relegate the state to political irrelevance in the fight for the Republican presidential nomination.

Texas originally scheduled its primary for Super Tuesday in March, where the contest would have received heavy attention. But the pandemonium surrounding the state’s new congressional map, which is still tied up in the courts, forced it to be rescheduled for April.

Now judges in Texas say an April date is implausible, the AP reported, with one federal judge suggesting June 26 for the new primary date. That would put Texas at the back of the pack and likely defuse any substantial influence the state could wield over the presidential nominating contest.

Texas gained four seats in Congress due to fast population growth over the past decade, forcing the state to redraw its maps and create new districts. But disagreements over whether those seats should be drawn to favor Republicans or Democrats have led to an escalating legal fight with major ramifications for future control of the House.

Republican lawmakers originally drew a map that federal judges said failed to reflect Hispanic population gains that netted Texas new seats in the first place. But a counterproposal was deemed to have deviated too far from the original intent of lawmakers who drew the map.