Monday, November 10, 2008

Texas House District 105 in a Cliff Hanger

What better way to end this election season in Texas state politics than by having a state rep race go from an under-the-radar sleeper to a cliff hanger whose outcome has monumental consequences for the political make-up of the 81st Legislature?

This year, incumbent State Rep Linda Harper-Brown (R-Dallas) was faced by poorly funded Bob Romano who also ran against her in the 2006 general election, and lost to her with a total of 21,568 votes cast, Romano getting 8,865 votes (41.1%) to Harper-Brown’s 11,881 (55.08%).

Prior to that, Mike Moore achieved about the same results when he ran against Harper Brown in 2004 and garnered 14,884 votes (40.8%) to Harper-Brown’s 21,599 (59.2%).

But we are learning about Dallas, aren’t we? The Dallas area continues its swing to the left, making 3-term incumbent Harper-Brown’s safe Republican district anything but safe for her.

This year, with a total of 40, 243 votes cast in the race, Romano and Harper-Brown are in a virtual dead heat with only 29 votes separating them (unofficial Secretary of State results have 25 votes separating them), Harper-Brown leading.

The race will be decided within the next day or so by the counting of 17 overseas ballots that were received today and the counting of provisional ballots.

At this hour with overseas votes having been tallied, Harper-Brown’s lead has widened by 5 votes, and she is now 34 votes ahead.

What lies ahead is the counting of provisional ballots, roughly 230 of them are regarded as valid.

Who wins makes for some interesting times in the Texas House next year. If Romano is the winner of this race, the Democrats will have picked up a net of 4 seats in the House, bringing the total number of Democrats in the House to 75. Yes, if Romano wins, the State House is evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans.

Not only will this seal the fate on the re-election plans of Tom Craddick as House Speaker, with all of the frills and power that comes with the position, but it just could mean the next Texas House Speaker will be a Democrat.

Now I am pessimistic by nature, but I wonder what are the chances that a Republican will cast a provisional ballot in this state? Isn’t it more typical for Democrats, who historically have been far more lackadaisical and disorganized with respect to their voter status?

I guess we’ll find out tomorrow.


The provisional ballots have given Bob Romano a lift, but not enough to close the gap and surpass Harper-Brown's total.

So . . .


Not just the name of a great HBO film on the 2000 Florida recount (judiciously debuted just before the 2008 elections as a small nudge to voters), it is the official request of Democratic candidate Bob Romano.

From the TDP Press:

“I am proud and humbled that so many voters in our community believe I should be our district’s voice in the Texas House. In the coming days, my focus will be on doing everything I can to see that every ballot is counted and that every voter’s intent is known. We must respect the voters, and protect the trust they have placed in our democracy. To that end, I intend to request a re-count of the ballots cast in this election.”

-Bob Romano

The Texas Democratic Party has pulled out all stops to ensure that this recount is fair.

Now with Dallas County totally enveloping HD 105 all eyes will be firmly fixed on their county elections office, and their elections administrator.

A guy with the improbable name of Bruce Sherbet.

I’m kind of partial to the orange variety of that.

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