In spite of receiving substantial media attention, there were very few surprises in the March 2nd Texas primaries. A Muslim-American who doubts the official narrative about 9/11 lost in the Democratic gubernatorial primary to popular Houston mayor Bill White. Gov. Good Hair handily defeated his two opponents, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson and Debra Medina, another candidate who thinks the Jews did WTC. All-in-all it would appear the primaries were much ado about nothing.
One GOP incumbent in a notable race did lose on Election Day however, and he lost in a landslide.
Victor Carrillo, a geophysicist on the Texas Railroad Commission was handily defeated 61-39 by a small-town accountant by the name of David Porter. Carrillo who, outspent his opponent 12:1, had the backing of all mainstream party leaders, held superior qualifications and relevant experience, was somewhat bitter about his loss:
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.
Unfortunately, Carrillo’s well-reasoned argument is sandwiched in between his whining about personal tragedies. While it’s hard to feel sorry for someone who will likely spend the rest of their days earning six-figures as an oil industry lobbyist, he may of a point. From LatinaLista:
Curious to see if other Latino GOP politicians suffered the same fate, a quick scan of the 2010 Republican Party Primary Election Night Returns reveals that in every race on election day where a Latino or Latino-sounding name and an Anglo were running against one another, the Anglo won.
In fact, the Anglo won by a landslide
Perhaps the time has come where Hispanic GOP politicians need to start adapting more “American” names. LatinaLista notes the dynamic appears to be different in 3 and 4 way races.
In the race for Texas’ 17th Congressional district, Bill Flores (seen above) was able muster enough votes to get to a runoff election, yet he appears to face similar issues as Carrillo. While he had the backing of the NRCC and out-raised his closest opponent 3:1, he barely held a 4% edge over his soon to be runoff opponent 33:29. Apparently, a substantial portion of Waco voters seem to think he is an illegal.
It wasn’t all ray-sism that contributed to Carrillo loss. As noted about, the Teabagger impact on the election was not significant but still measurable. In statewide results it appears that as many as a third of voters were voting down-the-line against incumbents when they had opponents. Even Porter himself is a Teabagger:
Porter is running on an anti-Washington, D.C., anti-President Barack Obama platform of less regulation. According his Web site, Porter wants to use his position on the Railroad Commission of Texas as a “bully pulpit” to combat the “economic war [declared] by the current administration on the Texas oil and gas industry.”
Completely unrelated to this post: