Looks like County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s strategy of ignoring her opponent (and the naysayers who put up the opponent) worked quite well. After the mail and early votes were tabulated, Hidalgo had amassed a healthy lead with almost 70% of the vote which continued all night. I didn’t have a doubt she could win, but my worry was about her taking hits from awful Republican ads and how that could affect the Dem vote. It didn’t. Those that put up an opponent against Hidalgo better watch out in a couple of years when their seats come up. And those who fought to keep her in office did a great job in the field, where it really counts.
My Commish Precinct 4 seems to be headed to a run-off between Leslie Briones and Ben Chou. In an open seat race with seven in the running, that’s to be expected. Briones edged out Chou 35-23 in early numbers in our recently redrawn district and that margin remains. What used to be a precinct that took up most of the west side is now a lot more sprawling. I think we’ll find that Briones did well enough on the west side to be the top vote-getter, but I’m pretty sure it’ll be quite the competition to earn the votes of those who voted for the five other candidates. I’m sticking with Briones.
One race that caught my interest was a 10-county race for the 14th Court of Appeals between Cheri Thomas who ran in 2020 and Kyle Carter, a current district judge with a good stack of campaign cash. Thomas, who is the DC-supported candidate, had an 18,000 vote lead after the mail and early votes were announced and her lead continued to get healthier as the first election day votes were announced. Thomas held good leads in Fort Bend and Harris Counties, which still had many votes to be counted. By this morning, Thomas’ lead of around 20,000 votes was holding as more votes in Harris County were counted.
More than a few court benches will be changing occupants one way or another as a good bunch of Dem incumbents are being taken out by challengers. Hopefully, those new Dem candidates will work hard for the party’s bottom line in November and not just ride whatever wave is caused by the strong candidates at the top of the ticket, like Judge Hidalgo and Beto O’Rourke.
One thing is for sure, there will be plenty of run-offs to keep us busy for the next couple of months, including Lt. Governor and Attorney General, which I expect to be spirited. I expect the local run-offs for Commissioner and some court seats to provide much of the energy.
Where there will not be run-off is the race for Precinct 2 Commish in which Adrian Garcia reclaimed the Dem nod for re-election in explosive fashion. As I stated yesterday, it would seem that his opponent’s angry white guy strategy probably won over some of the target audience, but Garcia actually ran a good campaign that reached all voters by selling his actual accomplishments. He probably carried other candidates to victory in the process. Congrats to the Commish.
State Senator and Houston Mayoral candidate John Whitmire will continue to be both, though Molly Cook did put herself on the map for anything, but specifically for what will be a crowded SD15 if Whitmire moves to a downtown office in 2023.
One outcome I did not like at all was that of the County Treasurer’s race in which incumbent Dylan Osborne was defeated. As I said after some good judges were taken out in the 2020 primary, when someone wants to play the odds, or play the latest in scare tactics, and the voters feel like it, they were surely oust you without much effort. That seemed to happen a lot in this primary.
In other areas of the state, it was Greg Casar rolling over several opponents in a Congressional District 35 that runs from San Antonio to Austin. In CD28, Jessica Cisneros was giving FBI-searched incumbent Henry Cuellar an excellent run. As the votes from Bexar, Zapata, and Starr Counties were finally counted, Cuellar came out in the lead. By this morning, Cuellar was just under the 50% mark, so we may have a run-off in this one pending any additional ballots coming in, and thanks to a third candidate who got a little less than 5%.
We’ll have more on local run-offs as the numbers continue coming in in Harris County. There is one race for County Civil Court #4 which still has 2nd place to be decided for the run-off. Rooting for Treasea Trevino in that one.
That’s all I got. Happy Wednesday! Also, thanks to the folks at Harris Elections for their work. Problems will happen as things get perfected, but a dumb tweet from a Trumpy Secretary of State will always cause even more problems.
Another race likely headed for a run-off is the race for the Dem nomination for Congress District 38, where Dem activist Diana Martinez Alexander has the lead against her opponent. Fingers crossed.