The Morning After

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As everyone here on BOR has other jobs or is (understandably) taking a morning off from work after the primary, we're a little slower to get our post-election analysis up right away.

Here are the highlights of last night, in case you haven't seen them yet:

  • Bill White (D-Texas) vs. Rick Perry (R-Washington) is going to be a long battle.
  • Linda Chavez-Thompson won her primary outright, giving Democrats an exciting 1-2 punch atop our ticket.
  • Hank Gilbert and Hector Uribe round out our statewide winners from last night.
  • In State House races, three Democrat incumbents — Dora Olivo, Tara Rios Ybarra, and Terri Hodge definitely lost. Final numbers show that former State Rep. Borris Miles defeated current (and former) State Rep. Al Edwards in the HD-146 primary by ony 11 votes. Expect a recount — though Borris Miles is already declaring victory:

    “This victory is particularly important,” says Borris Miles, State Representative-elect. “I am honored to have the opportunity to get back to work for the people of District 146.  We have much to accomplish.  I do want to thank Representative Edwards for his service to the community.”
    “I'm excited to have Borris return to Austin. He is clearly the most qualified candidate and has a strong record as a legislator,” says Mayor Annise Parker.  “During tough economic times, his business savvy should make a significant difference for the City of Houston and the state.”
  • For Republicans, east Texas Republicans Tommy Merritt and Betty Brown lost their races — Brown by only 100+ votes.
  • In perhaps the biggest news of the night, Republicans have lost their darling, Don McLeroy, on the State Board of Education.
  • On the Republican side, incumbent Railroad Commissioner Victor Carillo lost 60-40 to unknown (and small-money) candidate David Porter — apparently just because Republican primary voters detest Spanish-surname candidates that much.
  • Locally in Austin, Amy Clark Meachum, John Lipscombe, Cliff Brown and Margaret Gomez all won their respective races. Mindy Montford and Karen Sage are heading to a runoff — which means we will be headed to more detailed coverage of that race soon.

There's lot's else. Let's start a new comment thread below…


About Author

Phillip Martin

Currently the Research and Policy Director for Progress Texas and the Texas Research Institute, Phillip Martin writes occasional long-form pieces for BOR that promote focused analysis and insight into Texas politics. Born and raised in Austin, Phillip started working in politics in 2003 and started writing on BOR in the summer of 2005. Phillip has worked for the Texas Democratic Trust, the Texas Legislative Study Group, and now the Progress Texas family. He is a lifelong Houston Astros fan, a loyal Longhorn, and loves swimming at Barton Springs Pool.


  1. Congratulations to Hank Gilbert
    I hope this means Kinky will retire from politics for good.

    As for Carillo, when you play with fire you have a good chance of getting burned.  I say that plays well for our candidate Jeff Weems who now does not have to face an incumbent.

    One more congratulation to Rebecca Bell-Metereau who won the SBOE Democratic nomination Place 5.  She will now face wing nut Ken Mercer who won re-election last night.  This could not be more clear come November.  Either we restore sanity to the SBOE or crazies like Mercer will continue to make kid's education in Texas about religious beliefs.

  2. Really?
    “On the Republican side, incumbent Railroad Commissioner Victor Carillo lost 60-40 to unknown (and small-money) candidate David Porter — apparently just because Republican primary voters detest Spanish-surname candidates that much.”

    I thought Republican's were the race-baiters, not Democrats.  This is an outrageous statement.  When your prism is race, everything that happens to a particular group is racism. This is the problem with “progressives” today.  Kind of like, “when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

    • Calm the outrage
      Every analyst said the same thing, as did the folks at this morning's Texas Tribune breakfast. Foster spent something like only $30k against an incumbent that spent lots.

      • Yup
        Matthew Dowd, yes THAT Matthew Dowd, said the republican have a problem in their primary with hispanic surnames.

        Just saying….

        • Mike Baselice
          Gov. Perry's pollster said the same thing.  So did Carrillo's campaign spokesperson.

          Just because something is ugly doesn't mean it isn't true.  In Harris County Leo Vasquez learned the same lesson.

          • So did Carillo himself

            Texas Tribune 3/3/10

            Carrillo: Hispanic Surname Caused Election Loss

            Victor Carrillo, a Republican incumbent for who ran for reelection to Railroad Commission, believes he lost the primary to a relative unknown, David Porter, solely because of voter prejudice based on his Hispanic name.


            “Early polling showed that the typical GOP primary voter has very little info about the position of Railroad Commissioner, what we do, or who my opponent or I were. Given the choice between “Porter” and “Carrillo” – unfortunately, the Hispanic-surname was a serious setback from which I could never recover although I did all in my power to overcome this built-in bias.  I saw it last time but was able to win because the “non-Carrillo” vote was spread among three Anglo GOP primary opponents instead of just one. Also, the political dynamics have changed some since 2004.

            Many of you have begun to call and/or write to express your concern over the whole situation. You are correct to be concerned over the fact that the GOP (our party) still has these tendencies to not be able to elect or retain highly qualified candidates who WANT to continue serving the public as I do. It is indeed a shame. Nevertheless, I refuse to walk away in shame because I know that my team and I did just about all we could have done to ensure that the primary electorate knew of my qualifications, expertise, and experience. The rest was beyond my control. I also urge party leaders to not alienate the Hispanic/Latino voter in Texas, as we now comprise about 39% of the population and we remain the fastest-growing minority group in the nation.”

            I'd say Carillo was hurting pretty bad today.

  3. YAY, Hank!
    It's going to be a great race for Ag Commish, and I'm excited to see such a strong Democratic ticket statewide.

    I still wish we'd been able to field someone for Comptroller, though. Major missed opportunity for a seat on the Legislative Redistricting Board.

    I'm beginning to wonder about the electorate of HD-146.  I guess when you have equally-matched dueling crazies, you take turns in the seat.  Can't y'all find a third person who can represent you without being so eccentric?

  4. Robert Ryland on

    Mark Thompson syndrome.
    “Strong ballot name”, little if any attention paid to the race. And Hector didn't exactly get out there and set the state on fire.  

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