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Thursday, October 26th 2006

Early Voting

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Early voting is up in my home county. It is busy. Even in some bad weather turn out has been high. South Texas is significantly more liberal than other parts of the state. No surprise should exist there. That might help explain the turnout (although I suspect we’ll see good turnout for a midterm all over the country – and I don’t see how that could help the Republicans).

You can check Bexar county early voting stations on this map, check early voting numbers, and if you wait until November 7th you can find your polling place with this little applet.

Any of my classmates who look at this while searching for school materials should remember to vote. And if you’re not registered here and didn’t request an absentee ballot well shame on you since the date for that has passed. And if you’re not registered at all…well really shame on you.

I had a very “independent” ballot. Like I’ve mentioned a bunch of times, I’m pretty libertarian and despite being fearful for the future of Bush’s tax cuts and for the future of medicine I just couldn’t shake the civil liberty issues which have plaqued this administration like this and this and the deficit and debt.

Voting and politics are often times private things but with such a contentious election I thought I’d actually share who I endorsed.

For the reasons above, and not necessarily for the strength of the candidate himself I voted for Democrat John Courage. I think it would be a good thing for this country to have a split government. At the least I’d like to give control of one of the Chambers to the Dems (which if it doesn’t happen I think should make us all suspicious :) ).

Can He Force A Run Off?

It was quite possible I would’ve cast a libertarian vote, but while still a long shot, the Smith-Courage “special election” is much closer than anyone could’ve imagine. I didn’t feel I could “throw” my vote. I was thrust into this district, as it was one of just five that the panel of judges redrew after the Supreme Court invalidated the 23rd district (which obviously affected the borders of more than just the 23rd…it meant redrawing the borders of its neighbors as well),

Since the district was redrawn past the normal filing date for candidates to run it is holding a “special election.” A free for all with a half dozen candidates. The idea however for Courage (the most promising contender to incumbent Lamar Smith) is to hold Smith under 50% of the vote and force a run off.

There is some evidence that might happen. Even though Smith has outearned Courage by about 4 to 1, Courage’s fundraising has been impressive. It needs to be realized he didn’t enter the race until district was drawn. As such he was at a significant disadvantage in terms of both funds and infrastructure in place. Not to mention Smith has been continually campaigning for his 20 years in Congress.

But Courage had reason to be hopeful when he entered – looking at Smith’s numbers. I can’t blame those numbers, even as a tangental Republican supporter (my interests overlap more with them than the Donkeys typically), Smith has been a poor performer by some standards including his hard line support for DeLay. He seems more attuned to national issues than the concerns of District 21. I think anyone, even his supporters would have a hard time arguing effectively against that complaint.

Still, he is a leader in the Republican party and a strong voice nationally (which drew him the support of both the Express News & Statesman). If elected and the Republicans remain in control he’ll likely be the chair of the Judiciary committee (not a small position by any stretch). On the flip side Courage is far more liberal than I’d like. A more moderate Democrat would’ve made the decision easier.

But I’ve explained my vote as one of national concern rather than a complete condemnation of Smith or very strong attraction to John Courage. The race will probably go to Lamar Smith without a run off, but its clear I’m hoping the Democrats take the House.

Being Outdoors Makes Him Look “Strong”…Or So His Imagine Consultant Told Him

My other two “major” votes went to Republican Rick Perry for governor and Republican Senator Hutchinson. Neither of them is really in a position to lose, although Perry is looking to get elected with perhaps less than 35% of the vote (!). It is stunning Texas doesn’t a have provision for the winner to recieve at least 50% of the vote.

Reward For Pushing So Hard For Proposition 12

Perry isn’t exactly the state’s most effective governor ever. I might’ve been tempted to vote for Strayhorn, even though I question her past, or even Kinky. But I couldn’t forget about Perry’s strong support for physicians. Granted the man appears (to an extreme) more concerned with politics than policy or what is actually good for the state but while he has neglected major areas, he has done some good. I think, I hope, that after such a “tough” (well, comparatively) race he’ll sit down and govern better the second time around.

The “Gentleman” Politician – Despite The Fact He’s Going To Win By 15 Points Perry Has Thrown Out A Lot Of Attack Ads

And as always, the very bright and proper Senator Hutchinson is the obvious choice for the state. She’s served well in Washington. Not to mention she’s going to absolutely cruch Radnofsky.

Go out and vote on November 7th everyone.