Why Cindy Vara-Leija Will Not Be The Next Constable of Harris County, Precinct One
The title says it all, doesn’t it. I have analyzed the precinct returns for this race, and it is clear that Alan Rosen will win this race by quite a comfortable margin.
I have broken down the Constable One Precinct into ten neighborhood/geographic areas: Acres Home, Aldine, Heights/Washington Avenue, Montrose/Midtown/Downtown, Northeast, Northside, Oak Forest, Southwest/Bellaire/West University Place, Spring Branch, 290 Corridor, West of Shepherd/River Oaks. I also broke down the race by Texas House district and Texas Senate district, but the neighborhood analysis works a little better and will be more understandable for the general public.
WHERE CINDY HAS SOME HOPE, BUT IT WON’T QUITE BE ENOUGH
Of the eleven neighborhood groups, Cindy won four of them in the primary on May 29th: Aldine, Heights/Washington Avenue, Northside, and Oak Forest. Let’s take a look at each of them in turn.
ALDINE: Truth in disclosure – this is my home neighborhood. I grew up here. I attended elementary, middle school, and high school all on Aldine Mail Route (I just can’t believe its been 19 years since I delivered the MacArthur valedictory address at The Summit the day before I turned eighteen in 1993). Cindy led Quincy and Alan 34% – 23% – 18%, but total votes here was 751. Given that Cindy’s two hispanic competitiors and Grady Castleberry have endorsed Rosen, Aldine can flip to Alan in the runoff, especially if Precincts 411, 664, and 792 are worked heavily. (Side note: My voting home is 411, Armando Walle’s is 664. These three precincts are the core of the neighborhood I have lived in for my entire life. Sorry Cindy, I will work hard to make sure it is closer).
HEIGHTS/WASHINGTON AVENUE: Very close race here: Cindy leads 42.9 to Alan at 35.9, Grady at 13.2, Quincy at 12.1. I suspect Cindy’s totals here are less to Hispanic vote turnout than moderate and independent women desiring a female constable. Alan has strong strength here for Jewish voters in the area and of course his endorsement by the GLBT Caucus and Houston Stonewall Young Democrats. I don’t think Houston Area Stonewall Democrat’s endorsement of Cindy made much of an impact (how can it when it was decided by only three people at a meeting). With expected lower Hispanic turnout, this neighborhood could be flipped to Alan, but I do think it is too close to call unless something major happens in the ground campaign or somebody makes a slip up here.
NORTHSIDE: I would have thought that Cindy would have blown everbody out of the water in this area, being heavily Latino. Problem is, at least for now, Latinos do not vote in the same proportions as other groups in the County. Cindy took 32.5%, Grady took 22.5%, Quincy took 15.4%, and Alan took 15.1%. Close runoff, but I do think the Northside will flip to Alan because of Latino voter projections, especially in a late summer runoff.
OAK FOREST: Almost a two person race, with Cindy leading Alan 43.2% to 34.9%. Again, with Alan’s endorsements and the expected drop in Latino voter turnout, Alan should take Oak Forest in the runoff.
WHERE ALAN ROSEN HAS STRENGTH IN THIS RACE – AND IT IS QUITE DOMINANT
Just like Cindy, Alan also won four neighborhood groups: Montrose/Midtown/Downtown, Southwest/Bellaire/West University Place, Spring Branch, West of Shepherd/River Oaks. Let’s look at these four neighborhood groups more closely.
MONTROSE/MIDTOWN/DOWNTOWN: More than anything, this show the strength and value of the GLBT Caucus endorsement in its home neighborhood. Alan triumphed here 54.8% to Cindy’s 28.2%. He will do so again. A note of disclosure: I ensured Alan took the GLBT Caucus endorsement. How, you may ask? Simple parliamentary procedure. Somebody had moved to endorse Cindy. I immediately made a motion to substitute the endorsement, which passed. Then, a motion to endorse Alan passed 55-47. A close fought battle for a monumentally important endorsement, but it was the will of the membership that evening. The GLBT Caucus will ensure a big turnout for Alan in these precincts.
SOUTHWEST/BELLAIRE/WEST UNIVERSITY PLACE: Again, another triumph for Alan over Cindy, 58.0% to 30.2%. Not a surprise, except that certain precincts were close. It was a very close race in Precinct 222 of all places, probably because of higher than expected Anglo female support for Cindy. This is a reminder that politics can be VERY local.
WEST OF SHEPHERD/RIVER OAKS: There was surprisingly weak turnout in this area, possibly because more people voted in the Republican primary here and some independents and Democrats will return to the fold in November; after all, the Dewhurst – Cruz battle royale (a discussion for another time) was too tempting to vote in. In this area, Alan won 48.6% to Cindy’s 33.5%. Expect Alan to win comfortably here this month in the runoff.
SPRING BRANCH: This was a surprise, as Alan beat Cindy 32.6% to 25.1%. Two caveats: this area cast only 187 votes, the second weakest neighborhood turnout of the eleven. But, it shows Cindy’s weakness in certain non-targeted Latino rich precincts.
AND NOW, THE THREE REMAINING NEIGHBORHOODS
290 CORRIDOR: Castleberry took 31.8%, Vara-Leija took 23.6%, Whittaker took 21.3%, and Rosen took 17.3% However, with only 127 votes cast, it was the weakest neighborhood. With the runoff candidates likely not campaigning in this area, I don’t expect this neighborhood will have much impact on the outcome.
NORTHEAST: This is primarily Harold Dutton’s House District 142. Quincy earned top honors, with 35.8%, followed closely by Grady at 35.5%, with Alan trailing at 14.3%. I expect, because of Alan’s dominant strenghts in African-American endorsements in this race, with no African-Americans on the runoff ballot, Alan will win the Northeast handily.
ACRES HOME: In many ways, Acres Home dominated on May 29, and will likely do so again on July 31. 3871 of the 14444 votes cast in the primary were cast here. Grady took 40.4% Quincy took 37.1%, Alan took 10.6%, and Cindy took 8.2%. This is primarily, though not exclusively, Shelia Jackson Lee, Rodney Ellis, and Sylvester Turner territory. Expect a phenomenal vote for Alan here. Cindy can only hope that the African-American turnout is severely depressed or curtailed here.
Based on the foregoing analysis, Alan Rosen shall be the Democratic nominee for Constable, Precinct One, shall win the seat in the general election, and will be sworn in as Harris County’s first Jewish constable in history in January, 2013. I will be looking forward to the returns when they come in on July 31, 2012 to see how well my predictive analysis holds.