Former Rep. Ciro Rodgriguez (D-TX) is going back to the House, having defeated long-time Republican Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-TX) in a run-off election, Bonilla, who led an open-primary election on November 7th with 49 percent of the vote (if he'd topped fifty percent he would have won the seat) against a group of Democrats, was leading all the way in the polls. However, in the last week, surveys showed Rodriguez, who got just 20 percent of the vote on November 7th, moving up. The most recent poll I saw had Rodgriguez only 4 points back over the weekend. that trend seems to have continued. His victory was relatively easy; with 85 percent of the vote counted, the former Democratic representative had 54 percent.
According to The Washington Post, the DCCC spent $100,000 in late advertising in Latino media, and made a strong effort to get out the Mexican-American vote. It must have worked. (I suspect that the Democrats' national victory, and the fragmentation of Republicans, particularly over Iraq, since November 7th also helped.)
The victory is especially sweet, because it is further evidence that Tom Delay's gerrymandering boomeranged against Republicans. The seat up for grabs yesterday is in a district re-drawn by court order after the original one was held to violate the Voting-Rights Act. Add to that the loss of Delay's own former seat to a Democrat, and the loss of powerful positions in the majority as the Democrats take over Congress and you can see that justice has triumphed. Well, sort of.
Democrats have now won 30 more seats than they had in the Do-Nothing 109th Congress. There's one more to be finally decided--the Florida 13th, which is now in the courts and may be before the House in January.