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Texas Win Caps Democrats' Roll

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  • Greg Cannon
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 13, 2006
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      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.

      http://apnews.myway.com/article/20061214/D8M0AFVG0.html

      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
      majority."

      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
      another district.

      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
      it.

      "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
      voters."

      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
      place.

      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:
      http://www.sos.state.tx.us/
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