Monday, November 13, 2006

Henry Bonnilla versus Ciro Rodriguez

After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the 23rd District in Texas violated the Voting Rights Act and a three-judge panel redrew its boundaries, Democrats had hoped Republican Henry Bonilla would be defeated in the fall.

Running against him, former Rep. Ciro Rodriguez who had represented nearby 28rd District from 1997 to 2005 and was a familiar political face is still trying to snag the seat away from Bonilla.

In 2005, Rodriguez had lost to DINO Henry Cuellar by 58 votes after redistricting in 2003. This spring, the netroots rallied behind his primary challenge of Cuellar but alas, Rodriguez lost to Cuellar in a tight race.

Once the 23rd was redrawn, however, the spanking-new district "include[d] Rodriguez's home, along with much of his old south San Antonio base." And giving new life" to Rodriguez, he opted to throw his hat in the ring in August and run against Bonilla.

In a field of five other Democrats and one Independent, Bonilla and Rodriguez were the two top vote-getters with 48.1 percent and 20.3 percent, respectively. A run-off in December will decide the ultimate winner.

Although Rodriguez received a substantially smaller number of votes last Tuesday, Bonilla failed to capture at least 50 percent. This means that a plurality of voters do not support Bonilla.

Moreover, as someone noted in a post, with the House now in safe Democratic hands, Rodriguez can make the point that he would have "more clout" in the 210th Congress than a representative from the minority.

Hopefully, the Democratic Party as well as the netroots will be as vigilant and energized in December as they were in early spring so we can add to our majority in the House.

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