Well, there’s not much to say other than, “We have another round to go?”
Let’s just take my reactions one-by-one.
US Senate: With all the mail and cash being tossed about by David Alameel, I expected him to be a top candidate. I also expected Kesha Rogers to somehow sneak into a run-off, but not by much. Like many of my fellow activists, I took a liking to Maxey Scherr in the beginning, but only because the activists were talking her up and she was the only one saying anything. When that UT/Trib poll came out, I sorta changed course, thinking that only Alameel would be the guy who could win without a run-off. In the end, after much movement of the dial on the voting machine, I ended up voting Alameel, hoping he wouldn’t need a run-off. I think Alameel can take it rather easily, if he campaigns in the same fashion–mail, trips to South Texas, etc. And with TDPs continued truth-telling of Rogers, perhaps stepped up.
Congress – 7: James Cargas was the big winner. He sent the cutest e-mail yesterday morning, which I think sealed the deal. Yes, that’s my Flo! Congrats to Jim.
Governor: Well, we all knew Wendy Davis would win, but let me tell you, in my mind, I always wondered how she would do in South Texas given a spanish-surnamed opponent. When I saw she was losing my birth-county of Zavala to Ray Madrigal, the first thought that came to mind was, “She should have gone to the Spinach Festival.” This can be dissected in more than one way, but let’s move forward. She’s the nominee, South Texas counties vote overwhelmingly Democrat, but that’s no reason to simply take it for granted. Turnout is key. Davis needs to make sure she spends a lot of time down there listening to voters and saying the right things. Abbott won’t have much to offer South Texas other than right-wing culture wars on gays and women. Dan Patrick will probably move the entire ballot to the right, too, especially on anything having to do with Latinos. Davis and the rest can bring some much needed sanity to South Texas and Texas.
Lt. Governor: No surprise–Leticia Van de Putte was unopposed. Still, she will probably end up with Dan Patrick as the opponent. Patrick will get another month of batshit crazy campaigning against gays and Latinos and women. That shouldn’t help him or Republicans overall, but my feeling is that Van de Putte must not wait for the winner to start going on the attack. A response to every single hate-filled ad and comment by Patrick will be needed. And the same goes for Davis.
Railroad Commish: My friend Steve Brown was the big winner. He campaigned in every direction and did well. Congrats, Steve.
Ag Commish: We have a run-off between Kinky and Jim (w)Ho(?)gan. I’m endorsing Kinky, if only to make things a little exciting in my life. I know he’s good friends with Willie Nelson, Little Joe Hernandez, and the Texas Tornados, so that scores him some points in my book, especially if he can join either of them on their respective tour buses to give a few speeches at concerts. And if he can bring them along toward November, even better. I’m over 2006.
113th District Court: Congrats to Judge Kirkland. He overcame a judge-buying lawyer and his candidate who was relentless in attacking him. Kirkland ran an expensive campaign to try to get ahead of the attacks, and that was exactly what he needed to do. It is sad when supposed Democrats try to attack peoples’ personal past just to score points–even when they do it to Republicans. It’s low-ball bullshit that doesn’t empower the electorate in any way.
246th District Court: What can I say? Julia Maldonado came up short. Ultimately, she lost by less than 1000 votes. Julia won election day by about the same amount (900+) but it wasn’t good enough to overcome the thousands of dollars of her own money that her opponent spent on ballot by mail and early voting. That made the difference, along with a couple other things. I’m really disappointed in this outcome, but, ultimately, Julia still landed on her feet with a thriving family law practice and her community work. I’m proud to have helped her out and I’m proud to call her my friend (and sometimes customer).
The others: Jim Evans, Barbara Stalder, and George Barnstone move forward to November in the other judicial races. Congrats to my friend and always DC-endorsed Ann Bennett who becomes our nominee for County Clerk.
The Referendums: As expected, they all passed overwhelmingly. Immigration reform, locally, didn’t do as well as the others–probably because of the relentless anti-immigrant ads from Republicans with little-to-no response from Democrats. Statewide, immigration reform was 3% or so behind the other items. Small, but not negligible, and definitely noticeable. Again, these were a non-binding temperature reading. Ultimately, when it comes to civil rights, it shouldn’t be about how voters feel, but about what is right.
Latin@s on the Dem Side: Leticia Van de Putte leads the pack for Lt. Gov., but there is also Gina Benavides for Supreme Court; Farrah Martinez running for a district court; Raul Rodriguez for County Court; and Josefina Rendon for County Probate Court running statewide or countywide in Harris County. Yep, that’s 5. Yeah, the usual few Latina/o State Reps are up, but adding some fresh faces are Luis Lopez for HD-132 and my good friend Amy Perez who ends up taking on Debbie Riddle in HD-150. And I’ll add to that Jim Davis running for SD-7. So, overall, that makes for a dozen or so.
The GOP is offering seven brown ones overall, if I counted correctly. But I think of Pé Bush as more of a Floridian.
I’m REALLY looking forward to the precinct-by-precinct breakdown. Yeah, right!