Thursday, February 9, 2012

HD-125: Who Will Succeed Joaquin?


Primary Outlook: Rodriguez Likely

General Election Outlook: Likely-Safe Democratic

State Rep. Joaquin Castro, has held this seat since 2002, when he ousted former State Rep. Art Reyna in the Democratic primary and defeated Republican Nelson Balido in the general election.  Since that time, the closest election was in 2006 when Balido ran a second time.  Castro scored nearly 58% of the vote.

He was unopposed or had Libertarian opposition the rest of the time.

As the picture shows, both the court-ordered map and the map drawn by Judge Smith vary little.  Under both lines, this district voted for all but 2 Democrats running statewide in 2010.  The 2 Democrats it declined to support were Attorney General candidate Barbara Radnofsky and Supreme Court Place 9 candidate Blake Bailey.

Here's how little the districts differ in the maps.  Under the court-ordered map:
Greg Abbot, 14,189  52.3%
Barbara Radnosfky, 12,351  45.5%

Under Judge Smith's Plan:
Greg Abbott, 14,110  51.8%
Barbara Radnofsky, 12,497  45.9%

As shown above, both maps kept this district very similar, so it's not likely to change all that much with some new maps.

So who's running. It's City Councilman vs. City Councilwoman.

Justin Rodriguez or JRod.  Justin Rodriguez has served has San Antonio City Councilman for District 7.  A little about District 7.  From 1997-2001, future Mayor Ed Garza held the seat.  From 2001-2005, now-Mayor Julian Castro held this seat.  Next came Elena Guajardo, the first openly gay candidate to win a City Council seat in San Antonio.  After one term she was ousted by Rodriguez in a somewhat contentious race in 2007.  He won a rematch in 2009.

Prior to becoming a councilman, Rodriguez served on the San Antonio ISD board and was a prosecutor in the D.A.'s office.

While a councilman, he seems to have remained very popular with his constituents and others.  It was previously rumored that he might succeed County Commissioner Paul Elizondo in Precinct 2.

Delicia Herrera.  Delicia Herrera has served as San Antonio City Councilwoman for District 6.  Like District 7, District 6 has a little history.  In 1997, a runoff election for this seat resulted in a 41vote win for now-State Rep. Jose Menendez.  In 2005, Herrera won this seat in a runoff by beating the frontrunner and now-District 6 Councilman Ray Lopez.

Unlike many elected officials, Herrera comes from a business background rather than a legal/attorney background.  She owns her own construction firm, DMH Construction.  In 2010, she ran against Pct. 2 County Commissioner Paul Elizondo and lost.

So now both want the State House seat being vacated by Joaquin Castro.

Delicia Herrera: Contributions: $675; Expenditures: $ 1,328; CoH: 714.12
Justin Rodriguez: Contributions: $91,253.36; Expenditures: $ 25,782.02; CoH: $65,471.34

Delicia Herrera: no online presence yet
Justin Rodriguez: website, Facebook

We'll be generous and give this race 3 peppers:

Right now there's no telling how hot and heavy this race will get.  One of the problems is the ever moving target known as primary election date.  How does one plan for an effective or negative mailer or TV ad?  You want to make sure it's time for most effectiveness and also limit the ability of your opponent to respond.

1) Money.  As seen above, money is all on JRod's side so far.  Herrera did jump into this race very late; she filed either on the the day before or on the last day to file.  We'll see by the next report whether Herrera can pick up any steam.

2) Sex. A male versus a female is always an interesting race.  In Bexar County women candidates have tended to do very well.  However, if Herrera doesn't manage to raise some more money...

3) Wounded Animal.  This will be Herrera's third underdog race.  The downside for her is that if she loses it will be her second election in a row that she has lost.  The upside for her is that she is young enough that a loss isn't necessarily the end of her political career.

Overall this race hasn't gotten nasty...yet.  All the money is flowing to one side.  On its face, this race looks dull, but if Herrera manages to raise a little money, it could make things very interesting.

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