'Hispanic opportunity' 35th Congressional district won by an old white guy...
Veteran State Senator Jeff Wentworth has been forced into a runoff. If he wants to hold onto his seat, Wentworth will have to turn aside Tea Party favorite Dr. Donna Campbell in what promises to be a very contentious runoff, 1200 WOAI news reports.
Wentworth was held to under 36% in his face off with Campbell and with former Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones. Jones was muscled out of the runoff, losing to Campbell by about 2,000 votes.
"Until two weeks ago I thought it was going to be Elizabeth Ames Jones and me, if I didn't win it outright," Wentworth told 1200 WOAI's Joshua Cook. "But people don't react well to negative advertising, and I think that backfired on Elizabeth."
Jones ran a series of blistering ads, claiming Wentworth does everything from lobby for trial lawyers, always a convenient target for Republicans, to maintains a 'lavish lifestyle' at taxpayer expense. The race got so nasty, at one point Wentworth sued Jones for libel and defamation of character.'
"People pushed back against her and negative advertising, and the votes she took away from me went to Donna Campbell rather than Elizabeth," Wentworth said.
The numbers appear to bear that out. Jones finished ahead of Campbell, and almost even with Wentworth, in the early voting. But among voters who waited until election day, and heart Jones' barrage of negative ads, Campbell won easily among Election Day voters.
Campbell is a New Braunfels emergency room doctor and conservative Tea Party backer. She narrowly lost an attempt to unseat veteran Austin Congressman Lloyd Doggett in 2010.
There had been a lot of talk about how the newly created District 35 was supposed to be a 'minority opportunity district.' But when the votes were counted, it was Doggett, an Anglo, defeating a Hispanic challenger for that seat.
"To actually win in the early vote and on Election Day in Bexar County, where I had not previously served," Doggett said.
Doggett easily trounced former Bexar County Tax Assessor Collector Sylvia Romo, grabbing more than 70% of the vote.
Republicans redrew Doggett's previously safe Austin district to stretch down I-35 to south San Antonio, in hopes that the reliably liberal Doggett would be defeated. Doggett is now certain to win re-election in an overwhelmingly Democratic district.
Another face from the past which is making a comeback is Ciro Rodriguez. The former Congressman leads going into a runoff with veteran west Texas State Representative Pete Gallego for the right to take on Congressman Francisco Canseco for the 23rd District Congressional seat. Canseco defeated Rodriguez to win that same seat in 2010, and redistricting has made it more conservative.