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Women Rule! And Other Takeaways From Dallas County’s Primaries

More than anything, the wave in Dallas County was one of women.

We’re almost a week removed from the Dallas County primaries, and about two months out from the resulting Dallas County primary runoffs. Here are a couple notes I didn’t want lost in the post-game analysis:

Women Rule. 

There were 38 Democratic races in Dallas County in which a man (or men) faced a woman (or multiple women). Two of these – U.S. Congressional Districts 24 and 32 – are partially in the county, but we’ll count them. Of these 38, only three men won outright: Eric Johnson in State House District 100, John Creuzot for Dallas County District Attorney, and Tom Ervin for Precinct Chair 2038.

Johnson, it should be mentioned, is the only candidate who dunked from the foul line on his opponent (he crushed local Democratic Party mainstay Sandra Crenshaw, 71 to 29 percent). The lesson, as many have noted: if you’re a Democrat who is not Eric Johnson, or you don’t have high name ID (Creuzot, who squeaked by), or you’re not in a tiny precinct (Ervin, fewer than 200 votes cast), you should absolutely fear the female wave. (If I missed some races that qualify, let me know.)

Shady (Failed) Gamesmanship. 

Gromer Jeffers had a very interesting piece you probably missed, since it ran on Christmas Day. It said that four white Dallas County civil court judges – Carl Ginsberg, Martin Hoffman, Bill Tapscott, and Jim Jordan – each asked white women to enter the primary against them. This was reportedly an effort to dilute the female vote and help them defeat black or Hispanic women already running against them.

I had one clarification and one question with this story. The clarification is that one of the “white women” named was lawyer Amanda Ghagar, an Iranian-American immigrant whom I believe decided on her own she wanted to run. (I was talking to her at the time about a possible Frontburner post or magazine profile, given her efforts to become the first Iranian-American judge in Texas.) The question was, How does this stalking-horse strategy pay off in a likely runoff, since in each case it was still likely the incumbent would be up against a woman?

Which is exactly what happened in three of the four races: The incumbent placed second and now faces that same black or Hispanic female opponent on May 22. In the fourth, Jim Jordan outright lost to his black female opponent, Aiesha Redmond. Maybe they think the smaller runoff turnout will give them a better chance? I don’t see the logic.

When Your Support Doesn’t Translate To Votes. 

In the race for Dallas County Justice of the Peace (Precinct 4, Place 2), Fred “Action” Jackson is in a run-off with newcomer Sasha Moreno, a dynamic young Hispanic female lawyer from whom I expect a long political career, no matter the runoff results. The person who came in third in that race was incumbent Katy Hubener.

You’ve probably never heard of her, unless you got a robo-call from her campaign between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m., or unless you chair a fan club for white real estate agents from Duncanville. Nevertheless, she had a lot of big names who endorsed her: Elba Garcia, Philip Kingston, Adam Medrano, Omar Navarez. Who else endorsed her over a Hispanic candidate? The Tejano Democrats and the Mexican American Democrats. How, then, did Hubener come in third? Especially given that her campaign was run by local Middle Earth-knower Anna Casey? Such a puzzler.

The Race To Protect Science. 

I haven’t seen this mentioned anywhere, and it’s an important race: Suzanne Smith got just under 50 percent of the vote in her race to be the Democratic nominee for State Board of Education trustee in District 12. But, her second place opponent, Laura Malone-Miller, filed papers to concede the race, so Smith will be on the ballot come November. This is a vital race if you care about sensible education policies and making sure you don’t have some nutjob voting to put a bunch of anti-science texts in your kids’ classrooms.

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