Dude, This Election Makes No Sense

The title, I stole from a good friend who provided that initial analysis. The pic, well, let’s just say i was feeling creative as we waited for the numbers to be updated.

The Run-Offs

Well, I’m not surprised by the outcome in CD-7; although, I was thinking “run-off” from Day 1 given the lack of name recognition of all involved, especially James Cargas who had only joined the race in December versus two who had been working Party faithful for months and a couple years (Andrews and Squiers, respectvely). The fact that 18% of voters (I was loftier in internally predicting 25%) didn’t pick a candidate points to the lack of money (or earned attention) in the race, but now that 8500 voters have been ID’d in Round 1, whomever raises more cash (or creates resources) to contact these folks may have the upper hand.  Then again, the lack of money and resources could be the reason for a lack of excitement during these next two months, which then probably leaves us in an e-mail war…again. The question is:  Is there money to be raised in CD-7? And, whether there is or isn’t, which campaign will make  the first 500 calls today?

Ultimately, though, if fundraising for whomever gets on the November ballot doesn’t pick up, I don’t foresee any competition for a bad fundraiser like Culberson. Whether it is the establishment not caring enough to support Dems, or funders not willing to write a check against a piece of furniture like Culberson, that’s up for discussion.

Well, it looks like my friend Jamaal Smith will be in a run-off with Gene Wu in HD-137. Less than 1900 votes were involved, but with only 96 undervotes, it would seem that people had made their decisions based on shaking their favorite candidate’s hand or getting a knock on the door. The almost 700 voters that didn’t vote for these two is definitely up for grabs, although I would hope any excitement generated would actually bring out more voters than round one.

For Constable Precinct 1, my friend Cindy Vara-Leija had an upswing at the end of the night to place her in the run-off with Alan Rosen. Although Rosen did very well early-on, Vara-Leija had a strong Primary day, which goes to show that both have some strong teams at the ready. I expect this race to be lively, energetic, and hopefully, exciting enough for voters to arrive at polling places in droves.

And in HCDE Position 6 (Pct. 1), Erica S. Lee squeaked into a run-off against former City Councilman Jarvis Johnson. Johnson, with obvious and recent name recognition, didn’t need much campaigning, but Lee ran a strong and determined grassroots campaign. With most other races decided in districts within Pct. 1, interest will probably wane, so, an energetic campaign like Lee’s has a renewed opportunity to come out the winner.

The Big Winner

Congrats to Traci Jensen on a huge win last night as our nominee for State Board of Education. This was one race in which I listened to all in the race early-on, and it was evident that Traci had the knowledge and the progressive-bent to be an effective November candidate. Against a right-winger, we need a candidate who will not be all over map and Jensen will be consistent.

The Heartbreakers

It’s just not right to see an accomplished jurist like Judge Steven Kirkland defeated by an opponent bought-and-paid for by a sour grapes lawyer with a vendetta. Along with a 19% undervote, the final tally left me gasping for air at the end of the night. If an attack on someone’s personal life caused that many Democratic minds to decide for whom to vote, despite Kirkland’s opponent’s lack of anything good to offer and Kirkland’s life of service, then I’m disappointed in Democrats in this county. I could bloviate and overanalyze now, but I’ll wait for the canvass.

I can’t say it was a total heartbreak in the County Trustee At-Large race, since both David Rosen and Diane Trautman are good friends and good people. But I am proud of David Rosen for running a classy and clean campaign from start to finish. Diane, on the other hand, worked hard and showed up, and I know she’ll work as hard as she did in this round to defeat the GOP incumbent in November.

Watching Zack Fertitta lose his race for District Attorney was quite the disappointment; in fact, it is one in which Democratic voters truly disappointed me (again!). We knew Lykos would be defeated and we needed a candidate who was the complete opposite of what the GOP offered. Now, we are left with a perennial candidate, oft-cited for his legal issues (Lloyd Oliver) versus a real right-winger. I’ll never vote for a Republican, much less a right-winger. I really don’t know what to expect from Oliver, though, or whether he’ll earn my vote for November.

RELIEF

One race many of us worried about was HCDP Chair, but according to the outcome, we shouldn’t have worried so much about losing Chair Lane Lewis. Oft-compared to the Kirkland-Palmer race to a certain extent, some are at a loss as to the difference in results for both races. Although the threat was real, it was not as tight as some expected. What it does show is consistency in mail, early, and election day results, which is probably a testament to Lewis and his message.

Frankly, despite the anti-GLBT nature of a flyer going around, a contributing factor to Douglas’ undoing was likely Democratic voters finding out she took money from a right-wing Republican. Her defense  that “everyone does it,” didn’t really fly since she was running to be the Party Chair and was not going to be on the November ballot against a Republican (like everyone else on the ballot). Loyalty is a must when one is the Party leader. Congrats to Chair Lewis on a decisive victory.

Oh Yeah, The Senate Race

The U.S. Senate race turned out to be quite the cluster. What seemed like a race between Dem insiders and Dem activists turned out to be about which name voters seemed to like more (my opinion). When it comes down to it, there was no money in this race, and in a state as big as Texas, you can only shake so many hands who will remember who you are. Sadler gets a couple more months to shake a few more hands; and, he’s the one that actually will do that.

Other Observerations

For all the panic in Austin over Lloyd Doggett being placed in a heavily Latino district, he cruised to victory, just as I predicted he would. Perhaps the original Castro vs Doggett race may have left few survivors, but Doggett had incumbent money, and ultimately, seasoned and new voters/constituents who like what he’s about. The district is still a bit screwy, but I have no doubt that Doggett will be effective and on top of things once he defeats his GOP challenger.

And in CD-23, Ciro Rodriguez still has the name recognition; although, he’s in a run-off with Pete Gallego, now. Rodriguez won handily in some of the smaller counties in the district, which speaks to the name rec, but also to his good record of constituent services when he served previously in this seat. Gallego gets two more months to finish the job, though, and he is a good campaigner. I’m just wondering what the silver bullet may be, ultimately.

The run-off in CD-33 will be interesting, and probably loud. Taking a turn for the negative during the “fishing for endorsements” phase and staying that way ’til the end, I wonder if voters will re-energize or if they will be fatigued by it all? It will be interesting to watch Veasey vs Garcia.

In HD-144, Mary Ann Perez defeated two opponents, including one who is an up and comer, Ornaldo Ybarra. Perez enjoyed on-the-ground establishment support from the get-go. Ultimately, the race was won on who was best financed, worked hardest and best connected with the voters–the way it should be. Congrats to Perez, and here’s hoping Ybarra stays in the trenches.

And Then I’m Not Disappointed

Kudos to Harris County Democrats, though, who supported the DREAM Act referendum at 85%. But Dems in Montgomery County were closer to 90%, so kudos to them, too.

Finally…

Well, there you have it. Take them for what they are worth and leave your two cents on my paypal account.

Update:  P.S. – A thought rant on CD-22

Wow! If one of my fellow bloggers doesn’t buy up MoonColonyDemocrats.com anytime soon, I just might. Kesha Rogers won the nomination again for CD-22 against a sincere individual like KP George who had his heart in the right place, as well as the support of activist Dems. Much like some of us are wondering what the hell happened in a few Harris County races, many of my friends are doing the same in CD-22. Is it a disconnection between the Party and Dem-leaning voters? What is it??? It is hard to believe that a little over half of CD-22 Dems would become members of MoonColonyDemocrats.com, but I guess it is possible.

And is it too late for TDP to start a Moon Colony Caucus for the convention?

Update:  Kuff has some links to others, as well as a good post about the importance of money, communications, and other stuff.

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3 responses to “Dude, This Election Makes No Sense

  1. Pingback: More reactions to the election results – Off the Kuff

  2. Yup. Made no sense at all. The e-blast from the party tonight lauded the Democratic enthusiasm and maybe that is what the newly elected party leader has to say but apathy and ignorance played much to big a role in these odd outcomes. Both the party chair and the Kirkland/Palmer races suggest fault lines between traditional Democratic communities that can be exploited by opportunists both within and outside the pary; I think we’ll see these tactics again. As for the district attorney race, a lot of Democratic criminal defense lawyers will be splitting their tickets before they think of voting for Mr. Oliver who was found NOT QUALIFIED by 88% of the attorneys voting in the recent bar poll. He publicly said, “I’d like to think myself as neither a Democrat or a Republican” in response to questions why he had run as a candidate in both primaries previously.

  3. I was very disappointed at the overall state percentage in voter participation for the democratic primary. There is a big disconnect between what the Party expects from the voters and what the voters expect from the party. We need leaders that everyday are trying to get people registered and voting . What we have is partisan groups that only get active when one of their own is involved
    in an election.I was not surprised with the results.