County to discuss redistricting county commissioner precincts

PRESIDIO COUNTY — Presidio County Commissioners Court will convene at 9 a.m. on Monday, November 8, at the courthouse in Marfa to consider a proposal for redistricting the county, potentially shifting the boundaries of the four precincts.

The county has contracted with the law firm Allison, Bass & Magee, and on Monday, Stan Reid, an associate attorney at the firm, will visit with Presidio County Commissioners Court to discuss redistricting the current four county precincts.

After the Monday meeting, the court plans to hold a hearing on the potential redistricting proposal within a week’s time.

Concerns about redistricting were raised by County Attorney Rod Ponton after the 2020 Census results were returned late, due in part to the pandemic. Previous reporting on last year’s census by The Big Bend Sentinel showed a population decrease in southern Presidio county of 25% –– a figure that local officials disputed.

“People on the border just don’t get counted, for a number of reasons,” said Presidio City Administrator Brad Newton at Monday night’s Presidio City Council meeting. Newton, Ponton and other advocates for the City of Presidio redistricting will address the population discrepancies between the two halves of the vast border county.

At Monday’s meeting, Newton estimated the actual number of southern Presidio county residents at 5400––nearly double the census numbers for north county, which includes Marfa, Candelaria, and Ruidosa. “The people of Presidio need a voice,” Ponton said.

If redistricting takes place at the rapid pace some hope, the revised districts could impact the ballot, where Presidio Commissioner Eloy Aranda and Marfa Commissioner Buddy Knight’s seats are up for election this coming spring.