I saw the story of the Case of the Mistaken Candidate Identity in San Antonio last week but never had a moment to talk about it. The San Antonio blog crowd had it covered - see here, here, here, here, here, and here.
The first thought that came to my mind in hearing about this was the strange case of the other Bill White from Houston's 2003 elections. Obviously, that caused Mayor White no difficulty in getting elected, though it seems clear to me that there are a couple of important distinctions between that and the Castro Twin Switch. For one, while both happened towards the end of the campaign cycle, the White story was still a month out from Election Day, while this little circus is happening with two weeks to go, meaning that it will likely still be news as early voting begins. The Jeffersonian shows that not too many people are paying attention and most of those who are don't care all that much, but it seems clear to me that this will further (if not fatally) wound Julian Castro's chances of avoiding a runoff and the uncertainty it will bring. In addition, Bill White had more money than God and was in a position to respond forcefully if he had to - Castro's war chest is almost nonexistent compared to his main rivals. It may be risky for them to pursue that line of attack, but if you're running third and have little to lose, why not hope to peel off enough votes to vault yourself into the runoff? Finally, while the "other Bill White" imbroglio was a bit hard to boil down into a sound bite, this one's a no-brainer. If Castro comes out of it with no loss of support, he should consider himself very, very lucky.
I'm sad to say that between this and his campaign finance reporting woes, I've lost some respect for Julian Castro. These are errors of carelessness and overconfidence, neither of which are particularly attractive. I'm glad I don't have a vote to reassess.Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 25, 2005 to Election 2005 | TrackBack