1. The Party Turnout Differential-- I'm probably looking in the wrong place, but I can't find a source for the exact number of voters in the respective primaries. However, I can see that 321,903 people voted in the Democratic Primary presidential race compared to 192,985 voting in the Republican Primary presidential race. That approximately 129,000 vote difference could be partially explained by the fact that the Dem presidential race is contested while the Republican race is not. However, it can't feel too reassuring to those Republican candidates on the ballot.
2. The Houston Police Officers Union is a pretty influential group. Political newcomer Mary Nan Huffman avoided a runoff in a three-person race and she did so by a large margin. Unlike the other two candidates, Lori Deangelo and Lloyd Oliver, Huffman isn't a Harris County CJC regular, either. Her past experience was in the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office, followed by her stint as the HPOU's attorney. Huffman was definitely the HPOU's candidate and she did quite well with her 63.5% of the vote. It will be interesting to see how that translates in the general election. I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that HPOU has significantly more influence on the Republican side than it does on the Dem side.
3. Sexism is alive and well in the Republican Party... at least as it applies to the District Attorney's race. Legal Disaster Lloyd Oliver won 35,728 votes which scored him a second-place finish over a seasoned former prosecutor and defense attorney. That's about 35,728 more votes than Lloyd deserved. He literally has no redeeming qualities that would earn him a single vote. He's homophobic, sexist, kinda racist, and not all that bright. The only reason I can possibly think of for that many people voting for Lloyd in the primary is that he was the only male on the ballot.
4. The Progressive Movement isn't quite as powerful as its advocates believe. Three of the Democratic candidates for District Attorney (Kim Ogg, Audia Jones and Carvana Cloud) heavily campaigned on who was the most progressive candidate. Jones earned the endorsement of several prominent Progressive groups, even the endorsement of Bernie Sanders, himself. However, it didn't end up doing her that much good. She got less than half (65,734) of the votes that Kim Ogg received (147,855). Anybody that believes that the Progressive Movement is what gave Kim Ogg the Office in 2016 is silly -- it was simple Trump backlash. It probably will be again in November.
5. Old School Cronyism is Key to Primary Victory. Speaking of our incumbent District Attorney, despite her first term in Office being beset with multiple controversies, she still managed to win and avoid a runoff, which is not an easy feat in a four-person race. Ogg is an old school Democrat, like her father before her. She had strong party ties that went back to before Audia Jones was even born. She used positions in her Office to hire "community outreach" employees who, coincidentally, were old school Dems, too. She had no problem receiving endorsement after endorsement from other Old School Dems, most of whom have little to no involvement in the Criminal Justice World. It worked out well for her.
Photoshop courtesy of Luke Newman
6. A Wild Batch of Judicial Races did not go well for the Men. Incumbents won. Incumbents lost. A four-person race had a winner who dodged a runoff while a three-person race didn't. There didn't seem to be a very strong pattern that weaved through all the races, except for one: all the male candidates lost. Whether it was challenger Bryan Acklin's loss to incumbent Judge Nikita Harmon or incumbents Randy Roll and George Powell losing to Ana Martinez and Natalia "Nata" Cornelio. Colleen Gaido beat the three guys running against her and did it so convincingly that she avoided a runoff. The only race going to a runoff is between Te'iva Bell and Candace White -- the one male in the race, Dennis Powell, came in third place. Crazy!
So, once again the morning after an election is a mixed bag of good and bad, but the most tragic, yet uplifting story of yesterday was . . .
7. The Voters Who Would Not Be Denied. Through a series of unfortunate events there were insane delays for voters at the end of the day yesterday. Those in line at 7 p.m. got to vote, and some of those late arrivals ended up waiting for hours before they finally had the opportunity to cast their ballot. The Hero of the Day Award goes to Hervis Rogers who waited for seven hours to cast his vote. He shouldn't have had to, but he did.
That's a man who knows the Power of the Ballot and he puts anyone who found it "too inconvenient" to get to the polls to shame.
Everyone should value their vote as much.