Congressional districts and justices of the peace
By The Chronicle Editorial Board,
10:30AM, Fri. Oct. 17, 2014
With early voting looming (Oct. 20-31), we're supplementing the Chronicle editorial board endorsements in the Oct. 17 issue with a few more, as they become available.
Following here are our brief commentaries on our endorsements in the local congressional races, and on the endorsed candidates (in contested races) for justice of the peace.
District 10 Tawana Walter-Cadien
District 17 Nick Haynes
District 21 Antonio Diaz
District 25 Marco Montoya
District 35 Lloyd Doggett
Travis County is ludicrously divided between five GOP-gerrymandered Congressional districts, and the U.S. representative who most accurately represents the region, longtime incumbent Lloyd Doggett, is now in a district anchored in San Antonio – creating an “I35 District” designed solely in an unsuccessful attempt to eject Doggett from Congress. In that context, the three Democratic challengers – Haynes, Montoya, and Walter-Cadien – against the Republican incumbents, are undoubtedly longshots. Gerrymandering of those districts make them GOP strongholds, as do the deep pockets of multi-millionaire incumbents like Roger Williams and Michael McCaul. However, better longshots than pay-to-play politics. In the fifth race, Green Party hopeful Antonio Diaz is destined to become chum in the water to eternal hard-rightist Lamar Smith – but in that race, count us in the "Anyone but Smith" camp.
Precinct 2, Justice of the Peace: Randall Slagle
Precinct 3, Justice of the Peace: Susan Steeg
Precinct 4, Justice of the Peace: Raul Arturo Gonzalez
Democratic incumbents Steeg and Gonzalez face the standard Libertarian challenges, but we expect their qualifications and experience will rebuff that light opposition. More serious an issue is County Court at Law No. 6 Chief Prosecutor Randall Slagle's effort to remove from office Republican Glenn Bass. The incumbent ran in 2010 only because he was pushed out of the Republican primary in HD-48, in a doomed attempt to challenge Rep. Donna Howard. Bass has no legal training, has mismanaged the office by failing to issue or enforce warrants for three years, and had to give his dogs away (and pay potential litigants) after four employees claimed that their boss’s pets bit them in the office. Travis County residents – of all political proclivities – deserve better than Bass.