The story states that District 23 reaches "almost to
El Paso in the west" but it is my understanding that
the district does include a part of the eastern edge
of El Paso.
Texas Win Caps Democrats' Roll
Dec 13, 8:24 PM (ET)
By SUZANNE GAMBOA
WASHINGTON (AP) - Democrats put an exclamation point
on their political year, capturing a House seat in
Texas as former Rep. Ciro Rodriguez ousted seven-term
GOP incumbent Henry Bonilla in a runoff.
"In terms of congressional races, obviously it has
been a very bad year and this is a continuation of
it," Republican consultant Reggie Bashur said
Wednesday from Texas. "A lot of voters were persuaded
by arguments that Congress was going Democrat and it
would be wise to elect a Democrat to join the
Democrats seized control of the House in the midterm
elections last month and padded their majority on
Tuesday with Rodriguez's 9-percentage-point win. When
the new Congress convenes on Jan. 4, Democrats will
hold 233 House seats and Republicans' 202.
In the final tally, Democrats won 29 GOP-held seats.
As a reward for his win, Rodriguez was named to a
coveted spot on the Appropriations Committee, where
Bonilla served as a subcommittee chairman.
In 2004, Bonilla cruised to victory with 69 percent of
the vote over a lesser-known Democrat, but that win
came in a district drawn to ensure the Republican's
win - with former Republican Rep. Tom DeLay leading
the way in remapping Texas.
The Supreme Court ruled in June that a 2003
reconfiguration of Bonilla's district was
unconstitutional because it diluted minority votes,
and a three-judge panel redrew the district in August
to restore Hispanics that had been shunted into
The new district stretches from San Antonio south to
the Mexican border and almost to El Paso in the west.
Bonilla blamed the Supreme Court ruling for his loss
Tuesday. Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean hailed
"With the help of Texas Democrats, voters won a
hard-fought victory in the courthouse and the ballot
box," Dean said in a statement. "Democrats
successfully fought back Republican partisan
redistricting attempts which disenfranchised Hispanic
Rodriguez and Bonilla faced six candidates in a
special election Nov. 7. The goal of the six Democrats
was to keep Bonilla below 50 percent and force him
into a runoff. It worked, with Rodriguez in second
Rodriguez returns to Congress after a two-year
absence. He served from 1997-2005 in another district,
but was ousted in the March 2004 Democratic primary by
Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar.
On the Net: Election results: