Last week the three judge panel in San Antonio discharged their duty and issued final interim maps (makes a lot of sense) for the Texas House, Senate and U.S. Congress. This means we FINALLY get a primary election on May 29th.
If there’s a runoff, and you KNOW there’ll be at least one, it’ll be at the end of July … just in time for 110 degree heat and for NOBODY to give a damn.
OF COURSE, IF THE ELECTION HAD PROCEEDED AS SCHEDULED, ELECTION DAY WOULD HAVE BEEN TOMORROW, MARCH 6! But nooooo…
BRAVO Texas Republicans! You’ve stuck your tongues in the electric socket again! And now WE’VE got to pay the price.
What does this mean? Well, for the most part, very little for us in Webb and Zapata Counties. County precinct lines were unaffected by this decision. The wrangling over those lines ended months ago, when we all thought election officials were dragging their tails. (Little did we know …)
One major change, however, is that Ryan Guillen will no longer be representing Webb or Zapata Counties in the Texas House. District 31 has been rewritten south to encircle Hidalgo and Cameron Counties. Guillen is gone.
Rep. Richard Peña Raymond, of course, will continue to represent the bulk of Laredo, and as chair of the House Human Services Committee, continue to provide our community with lots of clout in Austin.
But the rest of Webb and all of Zapata Counties now fall into House District 80, currently represented by Tracy King of Uvalde. Rep. King was originally elected in a district that included Webb County and many of you may remember him from the 1990s. He serves as chair of the House Border and International Affairs Committee. He is definitely NO outsider … either here or in Austin. Truth be told, he’s probably better for Webb County than Ryan Guillen ever was.
At this writing King is unopposed. But we’re all waiting to see if District 3 Commissioner Jerry Garza will refile for State Rep in District 80. He was originally slated to face off against Guillen, which would have been a disaster for him.
Can Jerry Garza raise enough money to defeat Tracy King? A lot of pundits believe that Garza will win because his name ends in a vowel . Or that we’ll elect a representative from Laredo before we’ll give that seat away again to an out of towner. That might be true, but it’s not going to be up to us to run this race for Commissioner Garza.
Nobody has EVER accused him of being aggressive, proactive or intuitive. In fact, people still question the circumstances under which he was elected to Commissioner’s Court. Rightly so.
Additionally, will Garza get the financial support from the Texas Trial Lawyers Association for a run against King that he might have received to oppose Guillen. It’s doubtful.
So if Jerry Garza is going to win this, he’ll have to work for it and work hard. We’ve yet to see either out of him.
But we’ll be watching very closely.