chapter 2.docx - Redistricting and Representation Etc...

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Redistricting and Representation Etc District Competitiveness Few districts are competitive No primary challengers Noncompetitive districts - districts in which a candidate from either party wins 55 percent or more of the vote Racial and political gerrymandering Incumbents likely to be reelected Democratic strongholds: inner cities, East Texas, South Texas with high concentrations of Mexican-Americans Republic strongholds: Panhandle, German Hill Country, city suburbs Congressional Careers There are no term limits for Texas legislatures. Term limits - limitations on the number of times a person can be elected to the same office in state legislatures Turnover rates in Texas are high. Turnover - the number of new members of the legislature each session Most voluntarily leave due to low pay, career pay, retirement benefits Texan Leadership The Speaker of the House - member of the Texas house, elected by the house members, who serves as presiding officer and generally controls the passage of legislation Joe Strauss is Speaker of the Texas House Powers of Office: Appoints chairs of all committees Appoints members of standing, calendar, procedural, conference, and special committees Refers all bills to the committee, presiding officer
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