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      Redistricting the panhandle

      We continue to cover the race to replace David Swinford as District 87 Representative. Now, we look at the Redistricting issue. In redistricting, the state redraws boundaries based on population size.

      It's usually in response to the census and can add or get rid of Legislative seats. There's a growing fear that the panhandle could lose a seat. We sat down with Four Price, one of two Republican candidates, who said he will fight in Austin to keep the seats the panhandle already has.

      "As I mentioned before, the most important thing to do, I think the most important thing we can do, is work hard and work together to present that front because we don't know what the final numbers are going to look like yet, but we will find out soon, and that will be critical for our area to maintain adequate representation, and I pledge to do that," said Four Price, running as a Republican for the District 87 seat.

      Republican Candidate, Victor Leal, released this statement:

      "Redistricting can simply be summed up with the phrase: 'Together we stand as one Panhandle voice.' Current Panhandle area Republican State legislators David Swinford, Warren Chisum and Carl Isett have all endorsed my candidacy. The Texas Farm Bureau has also endorsed my candidacy and they too have a critical interest in a united rural agricultural and ranching voice in Austin. I will work together with the other Panhandle legislators including our Republican State Senators Kel Seilger and Robert Duncan to protect the integrity of the Panhandle's voice in State government. I specifically oppose splitting the existing counties currently in District 87 and will seek to add new counties to meet the new population thresholds." Here is the statement from Democrat candidate, Abel Bosquez: As Candidate for State Representative District 87 I will fight for the Panhandle/South Plains to maintain our current number of representatives. The Panhandle/South Plains has lost population for the past few years but Austin needs to know that Rural Texas is just as important as Urban Texas. This is not a Democratic or Republican issue but a people issue here in this area. Once the census is done and the redistricting begins, the representative of this area need to fight to keep our current representation. Here is the statement from James A. Hudspeth, the Libertarian candidate: Redistricting is coming whether we like it or not. All four candidates are on the same page on this one. We need to fight to keep three seats in the Panhandle. I would like to add Hale, Floyd, Motley and maybe even Cottle counties to the 88th district and move some counties from the 88th to the 87th and 86th to meet population requirements.