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Redistricting could leave McLennan-area Texas House district open to challengers

Proposed redistricting leaves no incumbent for Texas House District 13 in next year's election. Here's how that's possible.

MCLENNAN COUNTY, Texas — As Texas lawmakers redraw the state's districts there are several that will be moved entirely. If there is no representative living in that new district, it can be open to a new challenger. 

That's exactly what could happen with Texas House District 13 in the McLennan County area.

According to new state maps, House District 13 is being moved from several counties east of Austin, to an area both in, and east of, Waco. 

Credit: Texas House of Representatives

The area is currently part of Texas House District 12 held by Kyle Kacal who lives near Bryan. His district will be moved just south of the new District 13 according to the new maps. 

Kacal will still live in his district after it shifts south, but current Texas House District 13 Representative Ben Leman has his headquarters in Brenham, Texas, much closer to Houston. Staff in Leman's office told 6 News he was retiring, though he would have needed to move much further north to keep the district. 

This means Texas House District 13 will have no incumbent for the November 2022 elections if the current redistricting plan is signed into law.  

East Waco and the current House District 12 will continue to be represented though 2022 by Kyle Kacal, even as he runs for office in his new district during that same year.

Lawmakers will not officially represent their newly-drawn districts until being sworn in at the beginning of the 2023 Legislative session.