The Blue Pages

. . . rantings from a young Democrat inside the beltway and outside the loop

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Uno Mas!

Take out your Jeromegress scorecards, everybody--The Dems have picked up another House seat. (Actually, don't take out your Jeromegress scorecards--those scores are final! Besides, Adam already gave his concession speech, and that's a prize that can't be taken away).

Former Democratic Congressman Ciro Rodriguez beat 7-term Republican Henry Bonilla in the 23rd District of Texas yesterday (AP story here). In the general election, Bonilla got 48% of the vote and Rodriguez split the other 52% with about 8 candidates (Rodriguez himself lead the pack with 20%). I've had a hard time finding official results, but Rodriguez won pretty convincingly, with anywhere from 54-57% of the vote. So, interestingly, Bonilla got a lower share of the vote in the run-off than he did in the general.

What is there to say about this race? No, seriously, what is there to say? I don't know much about either candidate. I've heard that Rodriguez is a moderate-to-conservative Democrat, but I suppose you have to be in Texas. But it is nice to get this cherry on top to the hot fudge sundae that was the 2006 Democratic wave.

This election did not mean that Texas is turning blue, or more liberal, or anything like that. But it did mean that under the right circumstances, Democrats can win in gerrymandered Texas districts without running against, oh, let's say, a write-in Republican candidate with a hard-to-spell name and a Katherine Harris personality (that would be Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, who actually served the rest of Tom DeLay's lame duck term and had DeLay's entire staff quit on her within the first couple of days.)

This puts the Democratic pick-up in the House at 31 (but really 30, since one of the seats they "picked-up" was from Independent Bernie Sanders, who was caucusing with them anyway). The only undecided race is Florida 13, Katherine Harris' old district, where the election results are rightfully disputed. And about Florida 13, I'm amazed I haven't blogged about this. I'm a bit behind the times on the story, but basically, the whole thing is a huge mess.

As it stands, Republican Vern Buchanan narrowly edged out Christine Jennings, with both receiving about 50% of the vote and Buchanan leading by a mere 373 votes. However, some 18,000 voters in the district voted on electronic machines for Senate and Governor and down-ballot races, but oddly they decided not to vote in the House race. Everyone agrees that something went wrong, but the question becomes waes it merely a glitch or was it a theft of Democratic votes? When you consider that those 18,000 voters split for Democrat candidates at the top of the ballot about 60-40, which would have easily been enough for Jennings assuming they broke similarly in the House race, it looks pretty suspicious.

So we'll wait to see what happens with that election. In the meantime, let's celebrate election night once more with the addition of Ciro.


  • At 11:09 AM, Blogger Matthew Jerome said…

    Ok, found the official results: Rodriguez 54.32%, Bonilla 45.68%


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