I thought I’d put this collection of initial thoughts together regarding the election. Usually, I start right as the numbers are coming in, but this time around, I slept on it. Let me tell you, waking up this morning didn’t change my thoughts much, but maybe someone can convince me otherwise.
It Ain’t Over
We’ve got run-offs! At-Large 2 has Thibaut vs Burks, and At-Large 5 has Jones vs Christie. In AL-2, I’m glad at least one of my two favorite candidates made it to the run-off and I’ll be voting Thibaut in a month. Jones, on the other hand, has a tougher way to go. It might be easy to say that it’s Republican vs Democrat in this one, but Christie isn’t your usual Teaper–at least I didn’t get that impression when I met the candidate. But attitudes can change in a tight run-off. In both of these races, it will be all about turn-out. What may become a single-digit turn-out of Latinos in the run-off may actually have some significance in these races, though.
In District A, one or both candidates who made it to the run-off are probably thanking the heavens for Bob Shoellkopf. I don’t know what effect Bob could have in this one. Frankly, if I lived in A, I probably would have voted for him just because I don’t like voting for Republicans, and I guess he was the most Democratic. But I’ve also had to vote between Republicans in the past (District E) and I chose the
better saner friendlier of the two. (Or was it the one who would actually talk to me?)
In District B, well, I’ll let the B folks decide.
Well, when there are different factors involved, it is pretty obvious that money ain’t everything. The Mayor avoided a run-off after only one term; a term which, for all intents and purposes, wasn’t bad considering the challenges. Beyond the economy and the cameras and the drainage fee, I think there was something out there that affected her numbers, and I won’t say it until I see the precinct-by-precinct numbers to see how certain areas of town voted. Needless to say, I think the Mayor needs to begin campaigning today for 2013.
Believe it or not, I think there is one person who is in the best position to challenge her in 2013, and it’s not perennial wannabe-a-candidate with free space in the Chron, and it’s not some other former activist-turned-wealthy lawyer. It’s that one At-Large member of Council who was handily re-elected and will have the ability to create a bully pulpit where he will be seen on a weekly basis. Some may argue money-raising ability, but we’ve learned that money may not be everything. Still, I’ll root for the Mayor.
Congrats to Ed Gonzalez in District H, who I will always think is one of our best hopes for Citywide greatness, as far as Latinos go. James Rodriguez in District I, obviously, has that potential, too. I am happy about the re-election of Melissa Noriega to another term in At-Large 3. These three good, progressive candidates had some annoyances for challengers, but in the end, finished on top; although, I was hoping for larger margins. Especially in At-Large 3, I want to see the precinct-by-precinct numbers to get a better view of things. Stephen Costello in At-Large 1 seems to have gotten “Annise’d,” too (yes, I said it–chill out!). He withstood all sorts of attacks and came through, but I’m sure he will be challenged the next time. One thing is for sure: 2013 is looking more and more interesting up and down the ballot. Then again, two years can be a long time if all goes smoothly on Council.
Congrats to Ellen Cohen and her District C team, as well as to District J’s Mike Laster on some decisive wins. I would like to note than in District E, 24% of voters did not vote for Mike Sullivan (undervotes). One guy that is sure to be impressive is Larry Green in K.
Update: Al Hoang was returned to his District F seat. I don’t know, I kind of like him, but it’s probably because his staff sends me press releases and stuff. Congrats CM Hoang.
We still have the run-offs, obviously, and I am definitely looking forward to getting to know these candidates–all over again.
HCC will have a good proponent of students in Carroll Robinson. When he participated in This Week With Sylvia Garcia’s forum, he impressed me with his ideas on retention and graduation. Community colleges are experiencing various challenges and they will need to step up–big time!
HISD-8. Well, Juliet Stipeche took out the teabagger challenger…again! That was another one of those annoyances I mentioned earlier, but her team worked the streets hard, and ultimately, that’s how elections are won. It was a decisive victory for Stipeche, who now gets four years to work on what matters–what is best for the kids, teachers, and families of HISD. I was hoping for more of a stomping of the teabagger, but, again, annoyances. As I said on the radio yesterday, Juliet is the real deal and she didn’t have to be created in some political laboratory. Congrats, Juliet!
HISD-3: I’m not sure what I’m more disappointed in: That a good, honest candidate like Ramiro Fonseca fell short, or that almost half of the election day voters bought into the incumbent’s hate piece. Some might say, “it’s because the voters were conservative,” but I’ll just say they were…
And Finally, Latinos
Some recent stats from Early Voting showed that Latino voters (surnamed, maybe?) were about 12% of the vote and a good majority were in District I and H. Those two districts had between 10 and 11% turnout after yesterday, so, I guess that’s where Latinos were hovering. A couple of percentage points is not necessarily amazing progress, so, there’s work to be done. And when you have annoying LaTEAnos getting on the ballot and spouting teabagger and other hateful nonsense, chances are they will get an audience. I will continue to argue that there needs to be mass and frequent engagement by progressives beyond the campaign-only, door-to-door stuff to reach Latinos. The annoyances cut into margins, slightly, and if those of us on the progressive side do not act, that trend will continue.
Well, I thought I’d be all 2011’d out, but we’ve got some run-offs in a month. Stay connected to DosCentavos.net because I’m bound to set someone off with one of my posts.