After a decade split between two Texas House districts, Henderson County remains divided in House Bill 1, approved Wednesday.
District 4 Representative Keith Bell said the bill does keep the city of Athens intact as well as the communities surrounding Cedar Creek Lake.
“All of the areas I have lost in Henderson County will be absorbed by House District 8,” Bell said.
The new map, which won approval after hours of debate, is vastly different from the current one that placed most the county in District 4, while leaving the western part in District 10.
The plan now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Although the portion of Henderson County going into District 8 contains more square miles, the bulk of the population will be in District 4.
District 4 will contain all 145,310 residents of Kaufman County and 50.509 from Henderson County.
The Henderson County population in the district will be 36,754 Anglo and 13,755 non-Anglo.
The Kaufman County portion is more evenly divided, with Anglos accounting for 78,626 and non-Anglos, 66,684.
District 8 is split into four counties. All of Anderson, Cherokee and Navarro Counties are included in its boundaries, Anderson County’s population is 57,922, Cherokee’s is 50,412 and Navarro County’s is 52,624. The portion of Henderson County in the district has 31,641 residents.
The Henderson County section is made up of 25,100 Anglo and 6,541, non-Anglo, giving it the largest percentage of Anglos of the four counties.
District 8 is currently served by Republican Cody Harris of Palestine. Harris is a rancher, who first took office in Jan. 2019. He won a second term, which runs until January 2023. Harris serves on the Calendars Committee, the Transportation Committee and is Vice-Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee.