Could Texas Send One More Dem to Congress?

The Democrats may not be done rolling up the score in Congress. Because of court-ordered redistricting, Dist. 23, which stretches from San Antonio almost to El Paso, was a special election rather than a general election. Unlike a general election, just getting the most votes is not enough – to win a special, an actual majority is required, and if no achieves it, a run-off is required. And an unlimited number of candidates from any party may run.

Dist. 23 was gerrymandered by Tom DeLay in 2003 to favor Republican Henry Bonilla, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the lines violated the Voting Rights Act and ordered them redrawn again this summer; the new boundaries weren't quite as GOP-friendly.

Bonilla may have come up just short: With 306 of 326 precincts reporting, he has just 48.07% of the vote. If those numbers hold, he'll be thrust into a run-off against Democrat Ciro Rodriguez, who is in a comfortable second with 20.27%. To whip out that old cliche, turnout will be everything in a run-off: Rodriguez and five other Democrats combined for 49.19%. Note to the Democratic National Committee: Pump some money into this race now. The run-off, if it happens, will likely be held in December.

UPDATE: New numbers, with only two boxes uncounted: Bonilla's percentage is down to 47.97%. It will definitely go to a runoff.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Election 2006
Ethically Unchallenging
Ethically Unchallenging
Chris Bell's attorney explains why they're taking Perry to court, instead of to the Texas Ethics Commission.

Richard Whittaker, Nov. 21, 2007

Hard Fight 04, Dirty Fight '06, Court Fight '07
Hard Fight 04, Dirty Fight '06, Court Fight '07
Ranking Dallas County Republicans face libel charges over 2006 election allegations.

Richard Whittaker, Oct. 17, 2007

More by Lee Nichols
Game Changer
Game Changer
A new football culture for Austin bars

Oct. 23, 2015

Beer Flights
Beer Flights
Celis: welcome home

Aug. 17, 2012


Election 2006, Congressional District 23, Rodriguez, Bonilla

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle