Well, that turned better than I thought. Clearly we have a lot more work to do in Texas, but I am encouraged that the overall message from this election is "Basta!"
I spent election day outside a polling place in a Methodist church on West Lynn. It was heartening to watch and talk to the voters going to and from the polls, sometimes with their children and dogs. The election of a Democratic Congress and a larger Democratic delegation in the Texas House is a restoration of the checks and balances that are critical for our government and our society. The election has restored my faith in our constitution which has been so tattered over the last six years.
The large winning percentages for the Austin bonds were heartening
, particularly with the parks bonds getting the most votes at 73 percent. The Austin bonds were part of a national trend of voters suppport for specific funding measures, particularly for the environment and the arts. After years of conservative funding cutbacks by the federal and state overnments, voters and local groups have seen the need for direct action in support of our cultural and natural patrimony.
In Texas, the good news is tempered by the realization of the work that needs to be done, particularly for the statewide races. The narrow margins in the Third Court of Appeals races show that Democratic candidates can win. It is encouraging that Bastrop joined Travis County in supporting the judicial candidates, but it is a mystery that they didn't win Hays County in what was otherwise a great day for Democrats there.
In CD 10, Ted Ankrum turned in one of the best showings against any incumbent and demonstrated that the district can be competitive for the Democrats. But the challenge is still the Harris County portion of the district. McCaul pulled 71 percent of the vote there. A Democrat can win the district if the Republican can be kept to 65 percent or less.
The key for CD 10 and for the judicial candidates will be to build up the local Democratic organizations in each of the counties and particularly in Tomball.