State Rep. James Talarico, D-Round Rock, speaks with his colleagues on the House floor on Aug. 9, 2021. Credit: Jordan Vonderhaar for The Texas Tribune

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State Rep. James Talarico, D-Round Rock, announced Wednesday he is moving to run for reelection in a different House district because his current district is being redrawn to be more favorable to Republicans.

Talarico said he would run in nearby House District 50, where the Democratic incumbent, Celia Israel, is not seeking reelection as she prepares to run for Austin mayor. He announced the new campaign with the support of the biggest names in Democratic politics in Texas, including Beto O’Rourke, Wendy Davis and Joaquin Castro.

Talarico currently represents House District 52, which is set to become redder in redistricting — going from a district that President Joe Biden won by 10 percentage points to one that Donald Trump carried by 4. House District 50, meanwhile, is likely to remain solidly blue after redistricting.

“Republicans have gerrymandered me out of my district,” Talarico tweeted. “If they think they can keep me off the House floor, they better think again.”

Talarico said he was not angry at Republicans for proposing a district more slanted toward them but how they did it — “trying to get rid of me by dividing the communities of color in my district.”

Whether Talarico can avoid a competitive primary for HD-50 is an open question. Earlier Wednesday, Pflugerville City Councilman Rudy Metayer announced he was exploring a run for the seat.

Talarico’s announcement came hours after the House approved the proposed map, with few major changes expected going forward.

The Texas Tribune

The Texas Tribune is the only member-supported, digital-first, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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