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March 10, 2004

And Over to the GOP side...

By Byron LaMasters

Congressional District 1 will feature a run-off between Louie Gohmert of Tyler and John Graves of Longview. The Tyler Morning Telegraph reports. In a surprise to me, Wayne Christian failed to make the run-off, but in retrospect, Christian being from Center, TX, had much less of a population base. Looking at the County-by-county returns, it's clear that the majority of the Republican primary votes came from Tyler (Smith County) and Longview (Gregg County). The winner of the April run-off will face Democratic Rep. Max Sandlin.

As expected, former Judge Ted Poe won the Republican nomination for District 2 easily. Poe will face Nick Lampson in November.

Both Sam Johnson and Ralph Hall had easy victories against thier primary opponents in the third and fourth congressional districts.

Mike Conaway easily won the Republican nomination for the newly created district 11 based in Midland-Odessa. He'll easily win this November.

In the district 17 race to challenge Rep. Chet Edwards (D-Waco), Arlene Wohlgemuth and Dot Snyder will face off in an April run-off.

In the 24th district, a mid-cities DFW district created in redistricting, Kenny Marchant easily won the GOP nomination. He's a strong favorite for November.

Rebecca Armendariz Klein won the GOP nomination in the 25th district. However, Lloyd Doggett is a heavy favorite.

In district 31, John Carter won renomination with 70% of the vote.

In one notable statewide race, Judge Steven Wayne Smith was defeated. Smith has long been considered an extremist with little judicial experience. He was defeated by Paul Green, a much more moderate and experienced Republican. Rick Perry's appointee to the Railroad Commission, Victor Carrillo, will face a run-off with Robert Butler. The winner will face Democrat Bob Scarbough.

Posted by Byron LaMasters at March 10, 2004 01:59 PM | TrackBack


A couple of comments on the state-wide down-ballot races in the Republican primary:

(1) On paper, Steven Wayne Smith was a well-credentialed candidate, and he ran a clever, if very cynical, campaign. (One tin-earred exception was when he criticized his opponent based on his law school alma mater, St. Mary's in San Antonio.) And Smith ran as an incumbent. Notwithstanding these advantages, the fact that he lost to a moderate-conservative opponent speaks well for the voters in the Republican primary IMHO. Smith is an extremist, a divisive force. I oppose racial entitlement programs, and will give Smith the benefit of the doubt as to whether he's a closet racist; but I still found Smith to be an unappealing candidate and rejoice in his defeat.

Likewise, Victor Carrillo's heavy plurality achieved against three opponents with Anglo surnames is a very encouraging sign that rank and file Texas Republicans are willing and able to render votes based on the candidates' respective qualifications rather than their obvious race or ethnicity. Carrillo's prospects for the run-off now look pretty solid.

It's always tempting to paint everyone from the political party one opposes as being extremists, racists, demons, etc. But I would hope that Dems might express at least grudging recognition (if not necessarily approval or endorsement) to these results. Both Green and Carrillo enjoyed support and endorsements from the Texas Republican Party leadership, and the rank and file voters responded well. Perhaps my friends from the Left will keep this in mind in the future when choosing whether to select the broadest brush in your political rhetoric paintbox.

Posted by: Beldar at March 10, 2004 06:42 PM

Right on, Beldar.

And I think it's worth noting that the Republican primary electorate this year was probably a little different than it was in 2002.

I believe turnout in the GOP primaries were lower than in '02, which probably put more power in the hands of the establishment types.

Posted by: Jim D at March 11, 2004 02:00 PM
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