SUGAR LAND, Texas (KTRK) -- Politics are at play in Fort Bend County, where a sitting commissioner will have to move from his longtime home if he wants to run for reelection.
Redistricting a sitting politician into a more competitive district is common. It has played out in other counties across southeast Texas. But Republican Andy Meyers must choose between his house and his political office.
The Republican politician lives in the Sugar Creek neighborhood in Sugar Land, an established community with tree-lined streets and esplanades. It is where he and his wife, Janet, raised their three children, hosted their grandchildren, and where he cared for Janet when she fell ill.
"My wife and I were married 56 years before she died in January of this year," Meyers told ABC13. "Forty-seven of those years, we lived together in that home."
But the Republican commissioner will have to move from that home to seek reelection in 2024 after the Democratic majority on the county commission voted to exclude his house from the precinct he's represented since 1996. In Texas, elected representatives must live within the boundaries they serve.
"I'd like to get reelected," he said. "I'm not prepared to retire just yet, and I don't like to be forced to retire. Let it be my decision. Let it be the voters' decision."
The move appears to be unprecedented and highly unusual. In the new precinct map, Sugar Creek is now in Precinct 2. Meyers tried a last-ditch effort to swap neighborhoods between precincts 2 and 3 on Tuesday, but it failed along party lines.
County Judge KP George, a Democrat, had no comment when we asked for an interview. But Meyers said he's not giving up. He will move, and he will run again.
"They want to take me out of office," Meyers said. "I'm the guy that is standing in their way of spending even more money. I'm the taxpayer's best friend. I'm still committed to serving my constituents and serving the people of Fort Bend County and the people of the state of Texas."
UPDATE: After the initial posting of this article, several Fort Bend County residents contacted ABC13 regarding Meyers' contention that the move was politically motivated. Those residents included links to an October 2021 redistricting meeting in which Meyers himself proposed a map which would have moved his home into another district. And while that proposal was not the one that was adopted, it does call into question Meyers' claims that the new, official map was drawn with the express purpose of forcing him from office.
When contacted by ABC13 with the information provided by residents, Meyers' team responded with an emailed statement which provided an explanation on his behalf. Click here to read Meyers' letter to ABC13.
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