Still working through a backlog of random observations from last night...
- Is it just me, or does anyone else have a hard time believing it's actually all over?
- One way of looking at how Harris County is changing: In 2004, running unopposed, Harris County Commissioner Steve Radack received 200,147 votes out of 306,949 ballots cast in Precinct 4, for 65.21% of the total. In 2008, running against Democrat Dexter Handy, he received 191,785 votes out of 339,115, or 56.55%; straight up against Handy, he got 60.07%. If current trends in Harris County continue, and especially if Radack steps down after this term, that will be a winnable seat for a strong Democratic candidate.
- Similarly, Justice of the Peace Russ Ridgway in Precinct 5, Place 1 got 174,202 votes against a Libertarian candidate in 2004, with 285,955 ballots cast, for 60.92% of the total. Yesterday, Ridgway got 162,916 votes out of 310,750, or 52.43%; his Democratic opponent, Peter Rene, won 123,452 votes for a 43.17% tally against Ridgway's 56.83%. This isn't your daddy's west Harris County any more.
- Chris Bell heads into the runoff with a 27,000 vote lead over Joan Huffman. He and Stephanie Simmons combined for 52.16% of the vote in SD17. Runoffs always come down to turnout, and finishing first early is no guarantee of finishing first later. But I think he's in a decent position. Look for a lot of money to keep pouring into this one.
- I'm wondering who will be the first sitting Republican judge to announce a switch to the Democrats, and when it will happen. Anyone want to speculate?
- What do you suppose Orlando Sanchez's platform will be when he runs for re-election as Harris County Treasurer? I'm thinking "You can't get caught in a scandal if you don't actually ever do anything" would work.
- As Grits notes, the Democrats made gains in district and appellate court races in counties besides Harris, such as Bexar, where two sitting Republican judges were ousted, and El Paso. I will once again echo the call to field a strong and full slate of candidates for the Supreme Court (as we did this year) and the Court of Criminal Appeals in 2010. The breakthrough is coming.
- To emphasize a point I made before, here's how the result in CD24 up in the Metroplex compares to 2004:
County Marchant Page M Pct P Pct
Dallas 64,973 43,416 59.94 40.06
Denton 25,544 12,610 66.95 33.05
Tarrant 63,918 26,573 70.63 29.37
Total 154,435 82,599 65.15 34.85
County Marchant Love M Pct L Pct
Dallas 60,774 57,717 51.29 48.71
Denton 25,968 17,995 59.07 40.93
Tarrant 64,998 35,937 64.40 35.60
Total 151,740 111,649 57.61 42.39
- So, um, when would it be okay to start thinking about the 2009 Houston elections? Maybe after the SD17 runoff.
Coming soon - more numbers!Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 05, 2008 to Election 2008