By Paul Hill
HOUSTON – Any way you look at it, the ultra-right suffered a resounding defeat in Harris County in the 2008 Texas primaries. In spite of Rush Limbaugh’s admonitions to his constituency to cross over and vote for Sen. Clinton, she was defeated 56.15% to 43.30% in Harris County according to the Texas Office of the Secretary of State website. The victor, Sen. Obama, received 227,886 votes as compared with 87,426 votes for Sen. McCain in the Republican primary. In other words, there were 2.6 times as many votes for Obama as McCain in Harris County in the primary election. If you add Sen. Clinton’s and Sen. Obama’s votes there were a total of 403,610 votes or 4.6 times as many votes for the two Democratic candidates as for McCain. Radical libertarian Ron Paul received 9,138 votes for his anti-war stance among Republicans. This means that the vote for anti-war candidates was 4.8 times as many as for McCain in Harris County which has been portrayed by the mainstream media as a stronghold for Bush supporters.
It is instructive to take a look at 2004 when Bush was riding high in Harris County. At that time, the total vote in the 2004 Democratic presidential primary was 73,747 and in the Republican primary the vote was 78,898. This means that in the 2008 Texas primaries, 5.1 times as many people voted in the Democratic primary as did Republicans in the 2004 primary in Harris County.
Labor endorsed candidates fared well in Harris County with some exceptions. Rick Noriega, a labor endorsed candidate, won in Harris County with 56.53% of the vote and will face anti-labor Sen. John Cornyn in November. Labor backed Carol Alvarado won 69.3% of the vote for State Representative, District 145. All of the labor backed candidates for Texas Supreme Court won as did candidates for the Courts of Criminal Appeals. Labor backed Rep. Kevin Bailey was resoundingly defeated by Armando Walle 57.4% to 42.6%. Bailey was seen as an ally to ultra-right iron-fisted Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick. Labor backed candidate David Mincberg for County Judge won easily as did Labor endorsed C.O. Bradford for District Attorney.
Democrats are very positive about the candidates selected in the primary. They are hoping to emulate the sweep of Judicial seats seen in Dallas county in 2006. Many people are outraged by the heavy handed tactics of the Bush picked right wing judges in Harris county and are looking forward to more fairness in the courts and criminal justice system after the election.