The Jeffersonian: Politicks, Sports, and Culture

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

It's Done!!!!

With 100% of the precincts reporting, Judge Phil Hardberger will be San Antonio's next mayor, taking 66,830 votes over Julian Castro's 63,001 (51.47-48.53%)!!!! I cannot tell you how happy I am for the Judge.

Nine votes shy of 130,000 people voted today... a very good turnout for a municipal election.

It is very, very fitting that the race ended the way it did tonight. Don't know if you'll get more commentary out of me tonight (keep checking if you'd like, I may be up to it), but look for a massive post within the next day or two.

Update 12:29 am: A couple of thoughts before I hit the sack. If Julian Castro had been the same Julian Castro during the campaign that he was in his concession speech tonight, it would have been awfully hard for me to not vote for him. A little less polished, a little more passionate, fewer cliches and talking points, more words and phrases from the heart (no matter if they don't play as well to the crowd or the cameras as the talking points would have)... someone who truly felt the impact of the election tonight. The way the man wove Scripture into his concession speech tonight was astonishing. Where has this Julian Castro been?

Finally, I don't know how much this is appreciated right now- minutes after the campaign has ended- but what Phil Hardberger and his campaign staff did was truly amazing. In the 8th-largest city in America, a man whose only elective office was as a down-ballot apellate Judge- who had been out of office for about three years- comes in and knocks off two sitting City Councilman who had the preliminary support of most of the Left and Right political communities.

How much did the average voter know about Phil Hardberger as of January or February? What sort of reservations did Schubert supporters have voting for a Democratic, former trial lawyer with no City Council experience? Any number of things could have gone wrong for the Judge, and yet here he is now 9 or 10 months after joining the race as the Mayor-elect.

The campaign had to walk a fine line, play up its long ties and support to the left-leaning voters, while trying not to alienate more conservative voters. And they did it. Schubert supporters could have just as well stayed home... with no numbers in front of me to support this, I would have to say they didn't. Any Democrat could have just as well voted for Julian and swung the election, I'm sure there were more than 2,000 Dems who voted for Phil. They didn't either. This line is amazingly tough balance on, but Phil Hardberger and staff did it. And boy am I happy they did.

Think about this as we start to gear up for the 2006 elections, because this is the fine line that any Democratic statewide candidate will have to tightrope on if they want to actually win in November '06.