Thursday, November 02, 2006

House Dist. 23 ignored

There has been no polling done in the 23rd Congressional District and I find that rather odd. Nationally the race has been written off as a Leans Republicans seat and it could very well turnout that Republican Henry Bonilla waltzes to an easy re-election.
But this is the district that was most effected by the Supreme Court ruling on redistricting. Several heavily Republican precincts were taken away and several heavily Democratic ones were added. And there are at least three highly credible Democratic candidates making a concerted effort in the free-for-all open election that has resulted. Former Congressman Ciro Rodriguez has good name recognition. Wealthy rancher Lukin Gilliland has spent the most money and run the most aggressive race so far. And Albert Uresti has the benefit of being on the same ballot as his brother Carlos Uresti who is running for the State Senate.
Combine this with the fact that this is shaping up to be a very good year for Democrats nationally and you have to ask whether they will be able to hold Bonilla below 50 percent and force a run-off election? I really don’t know. I hope they do but nobody is talking about it much and I’m not sure what chance there is of that happening at this point. Bonilla, of course, has tons of cash and has been running lots of TV ads. He also picked up a rather lame and lukewarm endorsement from the incumbent/Republican-loving Express-News. But Gilliland has been out there too and I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Gilliland has my vote, but I would not hesitate to throw my support to Rodriguez or Uresti if they make it into a run-off.
One of the local TV news stations the other day covered a campaign event where Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Bell was making an appearance and they got an on-camera interview with Carlos Uresti, who defeated Frank Madla in the primaries for the state Senate race. But they were so clueless that they thought they were talking to Albert Uresti and identified him as such when they ran the interview during a segment on the District 23 race. The clip they aired even has Carlos talking about his state Senate race and it still wasn’t enough to tip them off about their mistake. But then TV newscasters aren’t the brightest bulbs out there as former TV newscaster Henry Bonilla demonstrates.

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