State Rep. Aaron Peña will retire at the end of this term rather than seek re-election under interim political maps for the Texas House of Representatives that stripped him of a district offering the best opportunity for a Republican candidate to win office in Hidalgo County.
Peña, R-Edinburg, said he will not seek a sixth term in office in a court-drawn district he deemed unwinnable for any Republican candidate, nor will he move to a conservative-friendly district to vie for votes from the constituents of state Rep. Veronica Gonzales, D-McAllen.
That “conservative-friendly” district – I presume they mean Rep. Gonzales’ HD41 – voted 57% for Barack Obama in 2008. That’s essentially the same as the current HD41, and in fact the court-drawn HD41 comprises 96.7% of the current HD41. So yeah, good luck with that. Pena’s a me-first opportunist who’d rather run than fight, so none of this should be a surprise. I will simply note, as others have done already, that for all Pena claims to be bothered by the one-party hegemony of South Texas, the one-party hegemony of the state is apparently just fine. The fact that the district his new buddies drew for him was one of the reasons the State House map was thrown out is a nice bit of justice. Stace has more.