Thursday, November 09, 2006

Goin' back to Houston...

Before the euphoria wears off completely:

Harris County Democratic and Republican officials have looked at Tuesday's local election results and they agree: The GOP-dominated county government could be recaptured by Democrats as soon as 2008.

"Believe me, it's being discussed," said Republican Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Paul Bettencourt, a conservative leader.

"It's an amazing wake-up call," said Republican County Commissioner Steve Radack.

In an election when many ethnic minority voters didn't vote, Republican judicial candidates on the bottom half of the Harris County ballot won by an average of fewer than four percentage points — 52 percent to 48 percent.

The average margin four years ago was more than nine points.

If minority voters had been energized, as they might be in the 2008 presidential year, it could have been a Democratic sweep, some analysts said.

They point to Dallas County, long a GOP stronghold, where Democrats claimed every countywide seat elected Tuesday.
One of my fondest wishes is that Texas become a two-party state. It has been a one-party state since Reconstruction, and that party, as in all the South, was Democratic. LBJ saw that he was handing the South to the GOP when he signed the Civil Rights Act, and while it took awhile, that finally came true in Texas, which changed stripes virtually overnight. I liken it to Constantine converting to Christianity: once it started, everyone was a Republican almost overnight.

Maybe not much longer, though: "Rice University political science professor Bob Stein said an immediate effect of Tuesday's local and national results could be interest from talented Democrats who realize they have a legitimate chance to be elected next time around."

Which is all the Democrats need; a reason to try. I, for one, welcome the opportunity to have two-party politics in this state again. We might actually get a state government that wants to get things done.

Well, probably not; but it's good to have a dream.

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