Could Texas Send One More Dem to Congress?
By Lee Nichols,
10:48AM, Wed. Nov. 8, 2006
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.