Just when you thought it couldn’t get any sweeter, along comes Ciro Rodriguez with an upset run-off victory over 7-term GOP congressman Henry Bonilla in TX-23. This gives the Dems a net 30 pick-up in the House and will leave Republicans without a single Mexican-American member of Congress. So much for the GOP’s pipedreams about winning the support of Hispanic voters. Rodriguez undoubtedly benefitted from the court-ordered redrawing of TX-23. But he also used his party affiliation to good effect. As CQPolitics.com‘s Greg Giroux notes in his New York Times article:
…one of Rodriguez’ biggest added advantages in the runoff campaign was that he could boast of being a member of the House majority if he were to be elected — something he could not definitively claim before the primary, which coincided with the national Election Day.
And don’t let anyone get away with chalking this one up to a Democrat moving to the right. As Giroux notes:
Rodriguez’s win probably will be brandished by political liberals as evidence that they can prevail in partisan battleground districts. Rodriguez voted against authorizing military operations in Iraq; in favor of a minimum wage increase; and against proposed bans of same-sex marriage and “partial birth” abortion.
Yep, that’s right. Deep in the heart of Texas.