The Texas primary, which once loomed as the biggest prize of next month’s Super Tuesday and a possible kingmaker in the Republican presidential race, skidded toward becoming an afterthought Wednesday when a federal judge advised officials to instead aim for late May.
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It was the latest toll of the Texas redistricting battle that began last summer and left state GOP leaders newly disappointed with a second primary delay. Instructions to plan on a May 29 primary came despite compromise earlier Wednesday over one of three disputed election maps that have kept the Texas political landscape in limbo.
Minority rights groups and the state announced a deal on the state Senate map for the 2012 elections, though that still left separate challenges to the Texas House and congressional maps unresolved. Democrats cheered the Senate deal, but another federal judge grew irritated that more maps weren’t settled.
“So here we are since Thanksgiving, all this time has passed, $1.5 million has been spent, and we’re fighting over one or two state districts?” U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez said of the Texas House map.