AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says the governor can call a special election to replace a retiring congressman, even as the U.S. Supreme Court mulls whether his district was drawn to marginalize Hispanic voters.
Paxton’s non-binding opinion Monday says that a court would likely side with Abbott if he determines the Corpus Christi-based district being vacated by Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold faces “an emergency.”
Farenthold recently resigned amid sexual harassment allegations. An election to replace him will be held in November.
Abbott says that’s not fast enough because Hurricane Harvey ravaged the district.
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But a special election would use the district’s current dimensions. The nation’s high court is reviewing those Tuesday. It may order the district redrawn before November if it finds that the influence of Hispanics was diluted.