By Jonathan Smith, Managing Editor
Having just returned from the most recent Legislative session, State Rep. Bob Hunter, 71st District, R-Abilene, spoke to the College Republicans group in Hart Auditorium Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Hunter, senior vice president emeritus of the university, talked and answered questions about the Legislature’s third special session, which closed Oct. 15 and dealt heavily with the controversial redistricting map for congressional representation. Hunter talked about his decision to be one of a few Republicans to vote against the map.
“I found out early on that people here-Republican or Democrat-did not want to change the map,” Hunter said to 22 students. “I’ve tried to be independent, but you find that when you don’t do what the governor wants, you don’t do what the speaker of the House wants, the party pressures can be severe.”
Hunter said one of the reasons he opposed the map was because it moved Abilene from being in a district with San Angelo to being in a district with the city of Lubbock, where “all the voting strength will be.”
Hunter told the group that because the new map approved at the third session, seven Democrat congressmen are now in danger of losing their seats because they have been put in heavily Republican districts.
“We ought to be fair-mined about it,” Hunter said. “In the end, we need to believe that a Democrat does not want to live in a district where his vote will never count.”
After he finished, Hunter answered students’ questions, which mostly revolved around redistricting.
Because of the controversy surrounding the redistricting map, Hunter said the mood for the session was contentious.
Hunter also talked about issues involving both public and private universities, especially how they were funded.
“The dual system will be alive and well because our state leaders understand the need to give students opportunities to go to both public and private universities,” Hunter said.
Hunter said he felt students should hear about the session because more students seem to care.
“We’re finding that college students all over the state are more interested in what’s happening in the Congress,” Hunter said, in an interview with the Optimist.
Hunter said that most elected officials try to hold forums on college campuses.