Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Texas results only slightly surprising

This is the kind of scrum I avoided last Thursday evening, and not just because Ted Cruz is at the epicenter.

We won't go long or big here, as Charles Kuffner has posted the best of this work and you have the AP helping the Chronicle with the numbers.

-- Cruz emerged as the only option to Trumpf for the GOP nomination.  His big win here and in Oklahoma leaves him as the last man standing against a perceived November apocalypse, and the Pachyderms are besides themselves with anguish about it.

In the words of Billy Joel: go on, cry in your coffee but don't come bitchin' to me.

-- Hillary Clinton won big in Texas and everywhere else she expected to, with Massachusetts qualifying as a minor upset for her.  Bernie Sanders won enough states -- Colorado, Oklahoma, Minnesota, and his front-door Vermont -- to justifying staying in the race a while longer.  There's a Democratic debate this Sunday evening in Flint, Michigan (and the GOPers face off tomorrow night; it's a homecoming for Dr. Ben Carson).  Michigan votes on Tuesday March 8, a week from yesterday.  If Sanders can win the Wolverine State, he has justification to fight on to Super Tuesday II on March 15.  Black voters hold his fate.

In review of some of the contested races around the state and county...

-- The Texas Railroad Commission candidates who qualified for their primary runoff elections on May 24th are good ol' Grady Yarbrough (D), Cody Garrett (D), Wayne Christian (R), and Gary Gates (R).  Lon Burnham, the most qualified and most progressive, finished third in a weak field.  Kuff thinks it's all about the money he didn't raise, but IMO Burnham shouldn't have aligned himself with Wendy Davis and Bill White.  Texas Democratic voters always go for the easiest -- and least qualified -- name in this race for some ignorant reason.

Your best option in November is Martina Salinas.

-- There will be a statehouse runoff in HD-139 (incumbent Sylvester Turner is now mayor of Houston) and perceived best candidate Randy Bates missed it.  He'll watch Kimberly Willis and former city council member Jarvis Johnson go at it at the end of May.  Convicted ambulance chaser Rep. Ron Reynolds was returned to Austin will have to face Angelique Bartholomew in May, with Steve Brown well behind, in the night's SMDH result.

Speaker Joe Straus survived his primary and his right-hand man (not right enough for Midland oilman Tim Dunn, Empower Texas, and the Anybody but Straus Caucus, but that's a digression) Byron Cook did likewise.  We can count these as wins for the good guys, folks.  In bad news for the speaker, Rep. Debbie "Public Education is the Pit of Hell" Riddle was upset in her primary.  Her successor is probably worse, however, especially since she called Riddle part of the 'liberal establishment'.

Gilberto Hinojosa's daughter won the Democratic primary to succeed the retiring Elliot Naishtat, the most liberal Texas House representative after Burnham was defeated a couple of years ago.  This is probably the worst thing that Austin Democrats could have done, choosing nepotism over good governance.  If Noah Horwitz supports them -- he's been a lackey for the Hinojosas for some time now -- you can bet she's a lousy Clinton-wing Democrat.  Nothing personifies the creeping conservative failings of the Texas Democratic Party more than this race.

San Antonio Dems also re-elected the most conservative option in their state Senate tilt.  See you down the round, TMF.

-- Ed Gonzalez will run off with Jerome Moore for Harris County sheriff.  Kim Ogg vanquished Morris Overstreet and Lloyd Oliver in the Harris County DA's contest without a runoff, and Ann Harris Bennett swamped Brandon Dudley for tax assessor/collector/voter registrar in a poor showing for challengers in those last two races.  The black turnout dynamic that propelled Hillary Clinton's big wins in Texas, throughout the South, and well down the ballot here was nowhere to be seen in the DA's race.  Ogg had a superior ground game while Overstreet apparently relied on George Soros' mailers.  Money ain't everything, y'all.

Likewise, Adrian Garcia's bad loss and Gonzalez's failing to clear a runoff signal lame turnout for Harris County Latin@s.  Only a Spanish surname paired with Clinton's -- be it Castro or Perez or some other -- saves downballot Texas Dems in November.

-- Harris County judicial races have a few runoffs.  Just a couple I'll mention today: craptastic Judge Elaine Palmer got pushed into a showdown with Joann Storey in the 215th District Court race.  And Democrat-turned-Republican Nile Copeland didn't come close in his bid for the 178th, finishing third with less than 19% of the vote.

Somebody picked the wrong year to start sniffing glue.


Gadfly said...

Michigan is an open primary on the Dem side, too. If Sanders can't either improve his black vote numbers, or else get some crossovers, as I said, the Fat Lady needs to start warming the vocal cords, as I noted over at my site.

Other state good news?

Good is it looks like Hugh Shine hung on to beat Molly White.

Totally agreed on Salinas. A Dem would have to be enlighened indeed to be better on the RRC than a Green.

I'll admit that Rafael surprised me in Texas; I didn't expect him to win by that much. That said, Kasich is still holding out for a miracle in Ohio and America's First Black Pharaoh is holding out just to be a PITA to Cruz.

Gadfly said...

I don't know if it's glue, gasoline, paint thinner, or what, but Mr. Morrow's been sniffing something for some time.

David Collins said...

Howdy, Eggbrainiacs. dbc here. If anybody is interested, I have teased through the Texas primary results below the presidential mess and compiled a list of races in Harris County that will require runoffs.