Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Last Night In Texas

Democratic women did well in Texas yesterday: Veronica Escobar, Dayna Steele, Sylvia Garcia

Let's start with this: among Texas' 15 most populated counties, which are the only ones the Secretary of State announces, early voting in the Democratic primaries-- so in places like Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio...-- spiked by 105% from the 2014 midterm. That means more than doubled. Over in crazytown, there was an increase as well-- 15%. That's called an enthusiasm gap.

The biggest self-funder in the state, Trump wanna-be Kathaleen Wall, in the open TX-02 seat... didn't even make it into the runoff. The Republican spent almost $6 million of her own and came in third with 27.1%. (The biggest Democratic self funder, Tahir Javed, also lost badly and didn't make it to the runoff.) Don't you love it when plutocrats trying to buy House seats go down in flames?

The weirdest congressional race decided last night was in west Houston (TX-07), where Laura Moser had been lagging in the absentee ballots. Then she was savagely attacked by the DCCC and everything turned around for her. People hate the DCCC and their vile tactics so much that she jumped ahead and wound up beating the other progressive candidate, Jason Westin, and the perceived DCCC fave Alex Triantaphyllis. So the runoff will be between Laura Moser and an anti-union EMILY's List corporate Dem named Lizzie Fletcher. Organized labor has made it clear that they will support Moser against Fletcher in the runoff and against Culberson in November.
Lizzie Fletcher- 9,731 (29.3%)
Laura Moser- 8,077 (24.3%)
Jason Westin- 6,364 (19.2%)
Alex Triantaphyllis- 5,219 (19.2%)
Ivan Sanchez- 1,890 (5.7%)
Joshua Butler- 1,245 (3.8%)
James Cargas- 650 (2%)
Over in El Paso (TX-16), the progressive candidate, Veronica Escobar, beat a corporate Dem self-funder, Dori Fenenbock to replace Beto O'Rourke, who is taking on Ted Cruz for the U.S. Senate seat in November. Fenenbock put $350,030 of her own into the race and spent $743,041 to Escobar's $528,274. The district has a PVI of D+17 and there is no serious Republican challenge, which means that Texas has just elected to Congress, in effect, it's first Latina. Escobar got more votes-- 30,630-- than both the Republicans  (10,489) and Fenenbock (10,992) combined. So... there will be no runoff in this one.

Another district with no runoff is TX-36 (east of Houston), where progressive Dayna Steele trounced her Democratic opponent with over 70% of the vote and will face off against lunatic extremist Brian Babin in November. Please consider helping replenish Dayna's campaign war chest here.

In the Austin-San Antonio corridor district (TX-21), three progressives battled conservative "ex"-Republican Joseph Kopser. The runoff will include one of the progressives, Mary Wilson, who took first place with 15,669 votes (30.9%) and Kopser, who came in second with 14,684 votes (29%). Our candidate, Derrick Crowe, took 11,686 votes (23.1%).

The other essential race was in TX-23, which stretches from the San Antonio suburbs south along the Rio Grande to the suburbs east of El Paso. The DCCC candidate, a Blue Dog and New Dem pushed by the Castro Machine, Jay Hulings, came in third and failed to make the runoff, which will consist of Gina Jones and fierce Berniecrat, Rick TreviƱo. The winner of the runoff will face mainstream GOP incumbent Will Hurd.

Chris Perry will battle Julie Oliver for the Democratic nomination to take on Roger Williams in TX-25, a gerrymandered district that stretches from the suburbs south of Ft. Worth all the way into Central Austin.

Another heavily Democratic district, south Houston's 29th district, where Gene Green is retiring, in effect elected another Latina, Sylvia Garcia, who pulverized Tahir Javed, who spent $800,000 of his own money. There is no serious Republican challenger in this PVI D+19 district. So that's two Texas Latinas going to Congress in 2019. Garcia is more of a garden variety Democrat than Escobar but she'll probably be an upgrade over Green. Garcia took 11,659 votes (63.2%) to the self-funder's 3,817 (20.7%).

Goal ThermometerAnd the last race we were following, north of Dallas (TX-32) had 7 Democrats vying to challenge Pete Sessions in a district that gets a little less red by the day. Hillary narrowly beat Trump. The top 2 vote-getters are Colin Allred and Lillian Salerno, the Blue America-backed candidate. Both worked in the Obama administration, although Salerno is more the progressive and Allred more of a moderate. Like with Dayna, please consider helping replenish Lillians campaign war chest here. The heavily-funded establishment candidate, a Hillary Clinton person named Ed Meier, came in 4th with 5,474 votes (13.7%). The top 2 candidates of the 7 who ran, were Allred with 15,442 votes (38.5%) and Salerno with 7,343 (18.3%). The new and updated Turning Texas Blue ActBlue thermometer is on the right.

UPDATE: Derrick Crowe Endorses Mary Wilson

"For almost a year now, I have watched Mary Street Wilson run a tough, tenacious campaign that defied all establishment expectations. She fought for every last vote in every corner of this district and led with her progressive values. She faced with grit both a deep fundraising disadvantage and a dismissive attitude from the establishment. Last night, the Democratic voters in Texas’ 21st Congressional District responded by giving her more votes than any other candidate in the race.

"Though I am disappointed to not make the runoff, it’s impossible not to be inspired by Mary’s campaign. Last night’s result gives me deep hope that this year, our elections can’t be bought. She will make an excellent representative for the people of the 21st District of Texas. I am proud to endorse her."

Blue America has added Mary and Laura Moser to out Turning Texas Blue page as you can see by clicking on the thermometer above.


  1. Anonymous6:40 AM

    Allow me to attempt this again, Howie.

    As I tried to state in the now-deleted version of this post, it looked to me like the good Dr. Westin didn't connect with the voters of his district. You had vetted him and chose to endorse him, which I accept as valid. I read your post on him and thought he'd make a good Congressman. Yet he lost.

    I asked your opinion if you thought that the anti-intellectual bias which was so evident in 2016 (why so many voted Trump over Hillary once Bernie was shoved aside) might well be at play here. It's the only thing I can come up with to account for why Dr. Weston lost. He was saying the right things, and as a doctor had the right background to be saying them. He should have been a slam dunk.

    I believe this needs to be examined, Howie. You have a great way of opening a topic and explaining it. I'm just asking you to take a shot at this, as I would love to understand how such a good candidate as Dr. Weston lost. This would be the key for real Democrats to again gain control of the Party as more became elected officials.

  2. Anonymous7:20 AM

    Please address why Bret Chip was not mentioned in your blog.

  3. Anonymous (6:40 AM), I'm also sorry Jason lost. I'm pretty sure he would have made it to the runoff if not for the DCCC drawing so much antipathy to itself with Houston Democrats by smearing Laura.

  4. Great summary on all the primary races Howie a very good night for progressives in the Lone Star State.

  5. Anonymous8:11 PM

    The preliminaries aren't even over yet.

    And after November, we'll all be reminded that IT'S STILL FUCKING TEXAS!