There are many sneaky ways to disenfranchise voters — to rig the electoral system so that one group’s voices are not quite as loud as others’ —but the 23rd Congressional District of Texas might be one of the most devious of all.
Texas lawmakers have designed a congressional district that is so slippery that neither political party can hang onto it, and where it is impossible for anyone to stay in office long enough to build up enough clout to get much of anything done for the folks at home.
You will get an argument about that from the people who have held the seat. Will Hurd, Pete Gallego, Francisco “Quico” Canseco, Ciro Rodriguez and Henry Bonilla will all say, in one way or another, that they have been effective representatives for the people who sent them to Washington, D.C.
Bonilla, a Republican, was there for 14 years. Rodriguez, a Democrat, was there for four, but served in Congress for eight more years representing another district — another redistricting tale for another day.
Rodriguez lost in 2010 to Canseco, a Republican. Canseco lost to Gallego, a Democrat, in 2012. Gallego lost to Hurd, a Republican, in 2014.