Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Election Runoff Night: Waiting on the Count

Two of the races that I am watching tonight are set to go on the Texas Secretary of State website: Democratic: Texas Railroad Commissioner; Republican: Congressman for CD 22. I have yet to find out whether the Fort Bend County Precinct 1 Commissioners races are going to be posted. So far, there is nothing on their Elections Office website.

I’m mainly interested in Railroad Commissioner because of the very strange results we got in the March 4th primary: Mark Thompson, a virtual unknown, nearly pulled off a majority vote with just over 48%. Coming in at a hot 2nd place was Dale Henry, who has been on the ballot for this office before. People are still scratching their heads about that one. The current theory is that he appeared 1st in line on the ballot in a majority of counties, and that alone could have done it, considering the influx of first-time Democratic primary voters this past month who showed up to vote in the presidential primary, and kept right on voting.
We'll just have to see.

This runoff attracts a completely different crowd: hard-core activists and others like me who have nothing better to do with their time. So I am expecting a different result but I am also curious because I have received a great deal of traffic on this blog in the past couple of days: people googling the keywords “Mark Thompson”. So, as I say, we’ll see what we’ll see.

CD 22 ought to be of interest to those of us who are watching the Republicans maneuver to retake their cherished seat in congress once held by Tom DeLay. Will Shelley Sekula Gibbs pull it off one more time and get enough people to go to the polls to vote for her as she did last time? Last time they had to dial her 16-character long name into a poorly designed electronic voting machine (although they say that “voter intent” was clearly indicated if a voter entered “SSG” in one case, and “Draculac _ _ t” in another”).

Sekula Gibbs shall evermore be known as the candidate who places calls and sends campaign mailers to Demorcrats who early vote. It went on up until even last night.

At the 11th hour, who does Shelley get to do a robocall for her? Norm Mason, the guy who was chairman of the Republican Party in Fort Bend in 1984 when the county and state went a deep crimson red. Norm wants Shelley to be the candidate because she is “the local conservative we can trust”. He warns us not to believe “the negative attacks against her” from this “Washington staffer with no record”.

Will Pete “I-am-not-Tom-DeLay-unless-you-think-I-am” Olson take the prize with his DC moneybag contributions? Sure he’s only been living in district for 7 months but that’s just because he spent 5 years in the military serving his country, and then 13 years in Washington serving Texas senators.

And learning the ropes.

So I am interested in this race, too, to see which of the two kinds of Republicans we have in CD 22 is going to prevail in this election.

It should give us some idea of Republican demographics, demographics of the activist kind, that is. If the early vote is any indication, where 1,120 Republicans voted early in the runoff, as opposed to 18,881 on March 4th, the voters who show up to decide between “DC Pete” and wacky Shelley are a truly high-graded cross section of the Republican vote.

In other words, “”The Faithful”.

Well here it is at 7 PM:

Congressional District 22:
Early vote totals show Pete Olson with 3802 votes (78.42%) to Sekula Gibbs’ 1106 (21.57%).

I can hear them say it right now over at SSG’s election watch: “It’s only the early vote”.

Railroad Commissioner:
Early vote totals show Mark Thompson leading with 8243 early votes (58.1%) to Dale Henry’s 5946 (41.9%).

UPDATE (10:04 PM):

Now with some votes coming in, it is looking more and more like Shelley has had her last hurrah in front line Republican politics. With over 78% of the precincts reporting, Pete Olson’s voters outnumber the Shelster’s by more than two to one (his 68% to her 32%). This was predictable, and I think we all saw this coming.

The upside is that Nick Lampson finally gets to run against Tom DeLay.

And Fort Bend County finally came up with their numbers. In Precinct 1, it looks like Republicans and Democrats have both voted NO on Tom Stavinoha. Total Democratic votes with 100% of precincts reporting is 846 (577 Morrison, 269 Wallingford) and Republican votes against Stavinoha, for Greg “I Love Me Some Toll Road” Ordineaux is 2077 (with 76% of precincts reporting). That’s a total of 1676 votes (36.44%) for Tom Stavinoha, and 2923 votes (65.56%) against him.

If anything, this election was a referendum on Tom Stavinoha. Have a nice retirement, Tom!

Now about that Railroad Commissioner race. What’s with that? Someday I am going to figure this out. One thing’s fore sure, someone dropped the ball, here. It’s either that the Dale Henry campaign was DOA, or everyone Googled “Mark Thompson” and liked what they saw.


Earl said...

If Olson's lead holds up all night--which it probably will considering the dearth of voters--I can't say I'm sorry for Silly Shelley. She was soooo not ready for Prime Time. She was a real political chameleon, and a maladroit one at that. I guess in 2006 they needed a "useful idiot" in Marxist terms to try to fill Tom DeLay's shoes and then they dropped her when she didn't realize the joke was on her. I guess we should start calling her, "So Long Shelley."

Hal said...

Maybe so, Earl. I, for one, will be sorry to see her go off into the sunset. She had this great way of making me laugh out loud.

Olson just makes me want to hurl.

Earl said...

Yeah, he reminds me of how Darth Vader got seduced by the Dark Side of The Force. Olson is about as creepy. Hopefully the only thing he learned from Gramm and Cornyn was how to be a flaming hypocrite.