The Jeffersonian: Politicks, Sports, and Culture

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

HD-118 News And Analysis

With Councilman Richard Perez out, this open seat is just that. One of two swing districts in Bexar County, this seat is a must-hold if Democrats want to gain the 5-10 seats in the State House that everyone says we can. Two Democratic candidates have already announce, Harlandale ISD school board member Joe Farias and Constable Captain(?) Larry Ricketts, while the Express-News is reporting that Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's regional director, George Antuna, is seriously considering a bid. Uresti's 2004 challenger, Steve Sayler, will also be running.

First and foremost, this district is as close to even as you can get. Adding up all the votes in every Dem-Rep contested election, you see that Democrats garnered just under 51% of the total votes. Even taking out the Presidential vote, which was the only race in the district that went overwhelmingly Republican (61-39), Democratic candidates take just under 52% of the total vote. State Rep. Carlos Uresti took the highest percentage of any Democratic candidate with just under 57% of the vote. Not including the Presidential vote, the lowest percentage any Democratic candidate who was on the ballot districtwide took was 47.7%. Of course the Republican highs and lows are just the reverse of these numbers.

Taking a look at the district as it is divvied up by congressional seats show that, as Antuna correctly points out, this district is split into a northern and southern sector. The CD-28 portion, predictably, accounts for most of the Democratic votes and the CD-21 portion the same for the Republican votes. HD-118 also includes a small slice- 500 votes- of CD-20. Adding up the congressional votes, it seems that the Democratic candidates have a 1,000 vote cushion, but as Antuna also correctly points out, the northern, Republican portion of HD-118 is the fastest growing sector of the district, and I would expect that cushion to shorten in '06. So County Judge Nelson Wolff's assertion that this district is a Democratic stronghold is just plain wrong and a curious one at that.

But it does lean Democratic. Out of the seven races on the 2004 ballot who were on the ballot districtwide, all but two were won by Democrats while a sixth race was lost by the Democratic candidate by a mere 92 votes. The victorious candidate on either side of the aisle will have to make headway with the opposing political parties voters, although the Democratic candidate does have a slightly larger margin of error. But until we actually get a set field, this is about all I got.