Musings on the election

First up, Congrats to President Obama! Four more years! The President won Harris County by a few hundreds votes. Democrats expand their majority in the Senate to 55 and lessen the Republican majority in the House. All fantastic news.

Republicans keep the Railroad Commission and the Supreme Court and the Court of Criminal Appeals–no surprise there. However, Keith Hampton got clobbered, which is upsetting.

Courts of Appeals
1st and 14th stay all Republican, which is not surprising.

State Senate
Wendy Davis got re-elected. The composition stays at 19-12. Mario Gallegos re-elected posthumously, which means we will see a special election.

State House
Democrats pick up six or seven seats. Composition is at 95-55. Ann Johnson was defeated, again disappointing.

County Judges
11th–Mike Miller (D) re-elected.
61st–Al Bennett (D) re-elected.
80th–Larry Weiman (D) re-elected.
125th–Kyle Carter (D) re-elected.
127th–R.K. Sandhill (D) re-elected.
129th–Michael Gomez (D) re-elected.
133rd–Jaclanel McFarland (D) re-elected.
151st–Mike Engelhart (D) re-elected.
152nd–Robert Schaffer (D) re-elected.
164th–Alexandra Smoots-Hogan (D) re-elected.
165th–Josephina Rendon (D) defeated by Elizabeth Ray (R).
174th–Ruben Guerrero (D) re-elected.
176th–Shawna Reagin (D) defeated by Stacey Bond (R).
177th–Ryan Patrick (R) re-elected.
178th–David Mendoza (D) re-elected.
179th–Randy Roll (D) defeated by Kristin Guiney (R).
215th–Elaine Palmer (D) elected. Damn.
333rd–Tad Halbach (R) re-elected.
334th–Ken Wise (R) re-elected.
337th–Herb Richie (D) defeated by Renee Magee (R). Again, damn.
338th–Hazel Jones (D) defeated by Brock Thomas (R).
339th–Maria Jackson (D) re-elected.
351st–Mark Ellis (R) re-elected.
County Court 1–Debra Mayfield (R) re-elected.
County Court 2–Theresa Chang (R) re-elected.

Of the nineteen Democratic Judges: 14 win re-election and 5 lose.
Of the six Republican Judges: 6 win re-election.
Final Tally: 14 Demorats, 11 Republicans.

County Officials
DA–Mike Anderson (R) wins. No surprise.
Sheriff–Adrian Garcia (D) re-elected. Again, no surprise.
County Attorney–Vince Ryan (D) re-elected. Great News!
Tax Collector–Mike Sullivan (R) wins. However, it is close and Bennett hasn’t conceded yet.

METRO Prop passed, City props passed, and all the Bond measures passed.

City Council
Martin wins without a runoff.

Discussion comes later.

Endorsements: Criminal District Courts

I continue my endorsements:

174th District Court
I endorse the incumbent, Democrat Ruben Guerrero. Judge Guerrero is one of the most respectable Judges I know, filled with a level of integrity almost unheard of today. I spent some weeks last year interning at the Courthouse (not with Guerrero, or for that matter anyone running for re-election this year), and the Judge and DAs I was working under, all right-wing Republicans, had nothing but kind words to say about Guerrero and his abilities as an adjudicator of the law. I am ashamed that the Chronicle endorsed his competitor.

176th District Court
I join the Chronicle in endorsing the incumbent, Democrat Shawna Reagin. Her court is renowned for having a small docket load, sounds like a fiscal conservative to me.

177th District Court
I break with the Chronicle to endorse the competitor, Democrat Vivian King. I have not been all that impressed by Judge Patrick, but this is not an especially strong endorsement.

178th District Court
I join the Chronicle in endorsing the incumbent, Democrat David Mendoza. Judge Mendoza is one of the few Democratic Judges in our county who holds a plethora of Judicial experience, and he has been committed to undergoing a thoroughly just program on rehabilitating youthful offenders.

179th District Court
I join the Chronicle in endorsing the incumbent, Democrat Randy Roll. The Chronicle’s endorsement mentions Judge Roll’s long hours put in to reduce his caseload, but what I find most appealing is his ability to speak fluent Spanish.

337th District Court
I break with the Chronicle to endorse the incumbent, Democrat Herb Ritchie. Judge Ritchie has done an adequate job in office, but I am somewhat distressed with his competitor, a former aDA who prides herself upon being quite “law and order”. I have always held the belief that our justice system is built upon the defense of the accused, not vengeance for the victim. Accordingly, I try to rarely vote for someone whose platform involves pre-emptively throwing the book.

338th District Court
In this very weak recommendation, I join the Chronicle in endorsing the Republican, Brock Thomas. Thomas, the Judge in this capacity until 2008, is alleged by the Chronicle to have started the “drug court”, which has done wonders in nipping one-term offenses and preventing someone busted on a few ounces of pot or DWI from becoming a hardened criminal.

339th District Court
I join the Chronicle in endorsing the incumbent, Democrat Maria Jackson. Judge Jackson is yet another Democratic judge with experience, such an invaluable asset today in the courtroom.

351st District Court
I join the Chronicle in endorsing the incumbent, Republican Mark Ellis. Judge Ellis, surviving the 2008 sweep, has made an effort to move to the centre, and for that should be rewarded with another term.