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If you’re looking for a focal point

Democrats will have no shortage of opportunities to play offense in 2012, but if you want to get a head start on that, I have a suggestion. Here’s a bit from this story about Commissioner Sylvia Garcia’s electoral defeat to focus on:

No commissioners endorsed [Commissioner-elect Jack] Morman or donated to his campaign, but a couple of close observers said Morman was helped by Precinct 3 Commissioner Steve Radack, who had been predicting Morman’s victory for months. The commissioner-elect said questions about Radack’s support were better answered by Radack himself. Radack said they conferred on the phone but that he was not otherwise involved in Morman’s campaign.

Steve Radack helped knock off Sylvia Garcia. He’s the biggest impediment Sheriff Adrian Garcia faces in his efforts to clean up the mess that Tommy Thomas left behind, and he will surely work hard to derail Garcia’s re-election bid. If you’re angry and upset about last week’s election results, here’s a place to channel that. In particular, the people who have spent the past few years bemoaning the lack of Latino representation locally should be taking a hard look at this. I’ve been saying for awhile that changing demographics in western Harris County represents a big opportunity for some ambitious Democrat. Even with Commissioners Court precincts being redrawn next year, I still believe that to be the case. There aren’t that many other opportunities in Harris County for Democrats to play offense in 2012 – District Attorney, Tax Assessor, two HCDE Trustees, a few judges, and whatever legislative and Congressional redistricting gives us. The rest will be defense. All I can say is that if Steve Radack isn’t on the target list, we’re not thinking big enough.

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  1. Brad M. says:

    “angry”…I like that. Kick over some more anthills and punch some bees’ nests while you are at it.

    But please don’t hold your breath about making inroads in 2012 races for “District Attorney, Tax Assessor, two HCDE Trustees, a few judges”. Straight party voting will soon knock you to your senses quickly.

  2. Sam T says:

    Although I’m a Latino ticket-splitter, I happen to have a little inside perspective because of my job. I think you’re making a little too much of Radack’s role here. Morman is married to a Latino whose family worked the north part of Pre in t Two hard. Morman’s father is a longtime Precinct Two businessman with contacts in the trucking industry and unions. They worked hard. Morman made the case to a lot of Latinos that he would work harder for their families — families that can easy lean right, especially when your pro-life and the incumbent, Sylvia, goes against the grain and supports groups like Planned Parenthood. Remember also, Morman is a young family man. Sylvia is a single liberal. Another couple of things to remember, if I’m wrong, why didn’t more Latinos vote for Sylvia and won’t redistricting allow Morman to solidify his position? Of course it will. The only person to blame here is Sylvia, who needs to take a long look in the mirror. Sylvia didn’t just lose crossover R vote she got in the past. Dems did not come out for her, or they voted for Morman.

  3. Sam – I appreciate your perspective, but however appealing Morman’s life story and message may have been, it’s awfully hard to communicate those things to nearly a million people without any money. I seriously doubt that had anything more than a marginal effect.

    As to your claim that “Dems did not come out for her, or they voted for Morman”, please note the HCDE Trustee race between Marvin Morris and Mike Rose, which took place in the very same Commissioners Precinct 2. I think we can agree that that’s a race that will be almost entirely decided by partisan affiliation. Garcia received 7000 more votes than HCDE Democratic candidate Rose, while Morman got 4000 fewer votes than HCDE Republican candidate Morris. There were 3000 more votes cast in the Commissioners race. What does all that suggest to you?