March 08, 2006
Primary results: Democratic non-statewide

Where to start? Let's go with SD19, where Carlos Uresti has ousted Frank Madla.

Uresti led Madla by 5,733 votes late Tuesday night with 92 percent of precincts reporting in Senate District 19, which stretches from South Bexar County to El Paso County. It appeared unlikely that Madla, a lawmaker with 30 years of experience, could close the gap.

Just after 11 p.m., Uresti's wife, Yolanda, introduced him as the district's new senator to a boisterous crowd gathered at the VFW post near the Mission San Jose.

After thanking Madla for his years of service in the Texas Legislature, Uresti said: “There were a lot of issues, but it comes down to a few issues — and that's taking care of our children and taking care of our families, our seniors citizens and, of course, our vets.”

That's a big win, and it ought to help solidify the Democratic Senate contingent. I wonder if Pete Gallego is kicking himself for not jumping in this race when he could have. Congratulations to Carlos Uresti!

Over in CD28, it looks like Henry Cuellar will win that free-for-all when all is said and done. Though voting problems in Webb County kept things mysterious though the night, the returns are now almost all in, and Cuellar will win by a decent margin. As was the case in 2004, Bexar County was strong for Ciro Rodriguez, but more people came out in the smaller Webb portion of the district, and that was more than enough to offset it.

The other big race was HD146, where we'll have a runoff between incumbent Al Edwards and challenger Borris Miles. Edwards had a majority in the early vote, but both Miles and Al Bennett gained ground on Election Day, and that was enough to put Edwards under the 50% mark. Would someone please bring Greg Wythe a stiff drink and a cold compress? Thanks.

In the other Harris County State Rep races, both Garnet Coleman and Kevin Bailey won easily, as did Dora Olivo in Fort Bend. One Democratic incumbent, Jesse Jones, was ousted, while Richard Raymond will face Mercurio Martinez in a runoff. And because I know you're dying to know, former male prostitute Tom Malin did not win his primary, thus guaranteeing a less colorful November for us all.

No other challenged State Rep failed to win a majority, though Chente Quintanilla came close. There will be a runoff in HD47 for that open seat, while Eddie Lucio III in HD38 and Joe Farias in HD118 avoided them. In the other State Senate primary, Henry Boehm won a squeaker in SD18.

Finally, in other Congressional action, Jim Henley won handily over David Murff despite accusations by the Murff campaign of sign stealing. Ted Ankrum and Paul Foreman will run it off in CD10. Sadly, anti-gay CD01 candidate Roger Owen won that nomination.

On to the Republican races. I'll have some more to say about a few of these contests later.

UPDATE: With two precincts still not reporting, Richard Raymond is up to 49.89% in HD42. He may yet escape a runoff.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 08, 2006 to Election 2006 | TrackBack

Looks like we made it close, but not quite close enough in CD28. Between this and the DeLay results, this year doesn't seem to be headed for any major realignment, at least in Texas.

Maybe the rest of the country will see better results, and I'm confident Democrats will make some gains here, hopefully offsetting the Leininger victories. But unless the Supremes grant us a do-over on Congressional elections, it's starting to look like two more long years.

Posted by: Mathwiz on March 8, 2006 10:20 AM

If Joe Farias is smart, he'll hire the same campaign team that put Uresti over the top to make sure Democrats retain Uresti's old House seat.

Posted by: d on March 8, 2006 12:34 PM

Chris Bowers at MyDD puts the Rodriguez loss into perspective (or put the best spin on it, depending on your point of view):

If Cuellar becomes a more reliable vote as a result of this primary, then we will have succeeded anyway. If Cuellar makes fewer appearances with Bush, then we will have succeeded anyway. We won't know if that has happened right away, but we do know that even if things don't change, we can always run another primary challenge against Cuellar in 2008.

In other words, by giving Cuellar a good scare, we may dissuade him from ignoring his base so cavalierly during the next two years. If not, we'll probably start supporting a challenger early on in the next cycle, and so on until he either shapes up or loses.

I hope he's right. It'd be nice to learn we did pick up a Democratic seat yesterday after all.

Posted by: Mathwiz on March 8, 2006 12:56 PM

It wasn't even close. Polls in November had Cuellar with a 15% lead. He wins by 12%, even with a third candidate in the race. It was a major mistake to have wasted this money on Ciro, a mediocre candidate who had little chance of winning. Obviously dailyKos and friends had little understanding of the district, its values, its voting trends, etc. Ciro was running ads attacking Cuellar for supporting CAFTA...have any two cities benefited more from free trade than San Antonio and Laredo? Running Ciro as the liberal choice in a conservative Democratic district was simply a mistake. If anything, the netroots involvement produced a backlash from local voters who don't like to be told what to do or think by outsiders. Do you think that Chicano voters are swayed by white union members coming from the midewest to campaign for Ciro? If anything, it makes them question where Ciro's loyalty lies.

And the lies and personal attacks on Cuellar were horrible. "Cuellar supports the minutemen, Cuellar will switch parties, Cuellar wants to build a wall on the border"...all a bunch of BS easily seen through by local voters. The truth is that Cuellar's voting record is typical for a Texas Democrat and generally reflects the districts political values. He has worked his ass off for the district over the last two years. He got some much needed local projects into the budget and he provides great constituent service. That is why he won.

Posted by: Chito on March 8, 2006 1:04 PM

What impact did the so-called "open primary" process have in the Cuellar-Rodriguez race? And can someone define it for me? Chris Bowers at MyDD suggested it was important.

Posted by: thomas nephew on March 9, 2006 12:43 AM