Saturday, April 10, 2010

Early-Voting Republicans Make Respectable Showing

In contrast to this year’s Fort Bend County Democratic Primary runoff early voting numbers, Republicans appear to be right on trend to previous years. In fact, Republican voter turnout is on par with the record 2008 primary runoff turnout, a primary that saw the end of the political career of former Temporary Congresswoman-For-Six-Weeks Shelley Sekula Gibbs.

Just looking at past voting results gives you an idea of how jazzed up Primary-Voting Republicans are this year.

In 2002, with only judicial runoff races to decide countywide (I am assuming that the runoff race for Inspector of Hides and Animals was not the big draw here), 2257 votes were cast in the primary runoff, or 33.37% of all votes cast.

The next primary runoff, in 2004 was less well attended; with 1417 early votes cast representing 29.07% of all votes in the election. Small wonder since the only countywide race was for Railroad Commissioner. The other race was for Precinct 1 Constable.

But this all trended upward in 2006, with a total of 2877 early votes cast representing 36.79% of the total vote in the election. This was a fairly hot election as far as primary-voting Republicans went. Not only was former Republican Party County Chairman Gary Gillen being challenged by neoconservative evangelical Linda Howell, Attorney Nina Schaefer ran in a head-to-head race against eventual victor Bud Childers for County Court-At-Law No. 1. Childers eventually won on election day by 139 votes.

In 2008, this runoff primary record turnout was broken again with a total turnout of 4848 voters that cast 44.67% of the total ballots cast in the election. Get that? Since 2004 the percentage of early vote that made up the total vote rose over 7% each successive year. Early voting in primary runoffs is becoming more common among primary-voting Republicans as time passes. This time I believe the voter turnout was fueled by voter determination to lose Shelley Sekula Gibbs like an embarrassing facial wart.

Bringing us to the 2010 Republican primary runoff, fueled no doubt by the competition between those who love John Healey and want him to continue to mismanage the DA’s office, and those who are embarrassed by him just as they were embarrassed by Sekula Gibbs, but for completely different reasons, obviously.

The safe bet is that turnout percentages will hold to last time’s and we will see another five thousand or so Republicans show up on Election Day and have a total turnout of just around ten thousand.

And my best guess is that the Schaefer/Healey race will be another nail-biter that won’t be resolved until the last vote is counted.


Anonymous said...

The fact that Raymond and Schaefer pushed this to a run-off and 53% voted against him in the primary is a victory against the machine candidates, but let's hope Nina can pull it off!

Anonymous said...

Go Nina!