Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Winners and losers from last night's returns

-- It's the battle of the incompetent politicos with fortunate surnames for the right to regulate the Texas oil and gas industry (aka the Railroad Commission).  Grady not-Ralph Yarbrough not-Yarborough won his runoff against Cody Garrett, and will face off with Wayne Christian (from now on, appearing in this space as Xtian), who defeated 7-time loser (don't get any Mucus on you if you click this link) on the GOP side, Gary Gates.  The news that broke in this race:

This is another Hobbsian choice, a Sid Miller/Junior Samples rerun of a statewide contest. Your best option will be the Green Party candidate, Martina Salinas (though she should update her Facebook page, maybe get a website).

-- Ed Gonzalez will be Harris County's next sheriff after besting Jerome Moore in the runoff.  Rebecca Elliott at the Chronic refries the beans for the fall tilt ...

Gonzalez's victory set the stage for a potential replay of 2008, when former Sheriff Adrian Garcia, a mentor to Gonzalez, unseated longtime Republican Sheriff Tommy Thomas amid a Democratic resurgence led by Barack Obama.

Garcia resigned last May to run for Houston mayor, prompting members of the county's Commissioners Court to tap Ron Hickman as his replacement.

Gonzalez, who has called on the sheriff's office to help reduce recidivism through correctional education, boost transparency and increase jail inspections, distanced his leadership style from Hickman's.

"I think we can do much better," Gonzalez said. "He's had about a year to kind of make his mark on the agency, and I think there's been some questionable decisions that have been made, so I'm looking forward to a very contested general election battle."

Hickman, who sailed through the March 1 GOP primary, has touted improvements to agency morale and cost-savings initiatives. However, he has come under fire in recent months for understaffing and overcrowding at the jail, as well as the death of four inmates who were assaulted or suffered head trauma while incarcerated.

Gonzalez, for his part, is likely to face renewed scrutiny for taking home six homicide case files when he left the Houston Police Department in 2009. Police charged a suspect in one of those murder cases within two weeks of receiving the file years later.

Hickman starts with a sizable financial advantage over Gonzalez, with $227,000 in the bank in February, compared to Gonzalez's $43,000 as of mid-May. 

I voted for Gonzalez because he was the only candidate in the race who opposed 287(g), a callously inhumane Obama immigration policy.  And I was appalled by former sheriff Garcia's active prosecution of it.

Latinos have every right to demand -- and expect -- progress from a Hillary administration regarding this, and if the long-awaited Latino surge in voter turnout finally shows up to vote against Drumpf, Clinton and Gonzalez and many other Democrats in Harris County and Texas and the United States -- and as referenced above, perhaps even a Green Latina -- will be the beneficiaries.

-- Winning their elections but still losers in life include Jarvis Johnson (as predicted), Ron Reynolds (as predicted) and Judge Elaine Palmer and JP Hilary (ex-wife of former City Controller Ron) Green.  You had better options, voters, but the real blame goes to the 97% or so who couldn't be afflicted to participate in this runoff.  When you allow cronies, flacks, and insiders to pick your representatives, you get governed by your inferiors.

... Reynolds attracted support from an array of elected officials including Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, U.S. Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee and Al Green and the Democratic party chair of Fort Bend (Don Bankston). Reynolds noted that none of his legislative peers were calling for his resignation.

(Challenger Angelique) Bartholomew's campaign sought to capitalize on the criminal allegations involving Reynolds, as did Annie's List, a statewide group supporting progressive and pro-choice women that endorsed Bartholomew. "The pattern of wrongdoing is stunning!" one news release from Annie's List stated.

In a press release, Reynolds described that characterization of him as "negative smears."

As I have reminded the most ignorant of Clinton supporters, facts are not attacks.

Other events that trailed Reynolds included a ruling from a Harris County judge in April that ordered the representative to pay $504,000 in damages for failing to give a mother her share of a settlement in lawsuit related to her daughter's death in a car crash.

That same day, in Austin, the State Board of Disciplinary Appeals held a hearing to consider whether Reynolds could continue to practice law in Texas. According to an order subsequently filed, Reynolds was suspended pending the outcome of his criminal conviction.

This man is not qualified to serve, but only further convictions may deter him from doing so.  The Democratic voters of Fort Bend County certainly won't exercise due diligence in this regard.

So things are looking good for African American Democrats locally, as they swept nearly every single race across the region.  Harris County Latinos, similarly, have lots of bright prospects for the fall.  Despite my snark, Team Blue has a strong lineup to take back the county in a little over five months, and I'll hoist a glass in their general direction this holiday weekend.

Now that we'll shortly have more Democrats in office, how about some better ones also?

Update: Goodbye, Mary Lou.  The only time you will have been mentioned here, and with your Lord's help, never to be seen or heard from again.


meme said...

We agree, I will be working to get Latinos out and to vote straight Democrat. But be wary of the Republicans they are not talking up Trump, they seem to know better as they also see the writing on the wall for this November in Harris County.

The Party of Trump does not deserve a single Latino vote.

Gadfly said...

Will link to yours tomorrow, in a round up which mentions "she shall not be further named" in a bit more detail, since I'm in that part of the world.