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Ortiz concedes

No surprise.

U.S. Rep. Solomon Ortiz on Monday conceded the loss of his 27th District seat that he held for nearly three decades.
A recount netted him more than 100 votes in Cameron County but left him still hundreds of votes behind Republican Blake Farenthold.

Ortiz called Farenthold at 8:04 p.m. to congratulate him and offer assistance on the transition.

“Although I gained votes during the manual recount, I did not surpass my opponent’s lead,” Ortiz said in a statement. “Therefore, with great respect and admiration in the democratic process, I congratulate my opponent, Mr. R. Blake Farenthold, in his election to the 27th Congressional District of Texas.”

The exact margin remained unclear. Ortiz spokesman Jose Borjon said Ortiz picked up about 200 votes overall, and Farenthold, about 50. He said the margin was “somewhere in the 600s.”

About what I expected. It was just too many votes to reasonably hope to overcome.

The interesting question is what comes after redistricting. As Greg notes, CD27 will be much more Democratic in a Presidential year like 2012, so it will require some surgery to protect its new Congressman from electoral peril, and even then that may not be possible. It may wind up that CD27, or whatever it is ultimately called, will be like Baron Hill‘s once and former district in Indiana, prone to flipping every cycle, with Dems having the advantage in Presidential years and Republicans coming back in the off years. Whatever the case, expect Rep-elect Farenthold to be a top target. Is there a Juan Garcia bandwagon for me to climb on board yet?

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2 Comments

  1. Mainstream says:

    Actually the redistricting calculation is even more complicated by the fact that the district was among those purposefully created to comply with Voting Rights Act requirements to provide Hispanic voters with an equal opportunity to elect candidates of their own choice to the US Congress from Texas. Assuming that election analysis will show that Farenthold was not the preferred candidate of Latino/Hispanic voters, the VRA might require under some interpretations the creation of a new, safer district for Hispanics within the Texas plan (which in view of the gain of seats and population growth in the Valley should not be so difficult), and Farenthold’s district is likely to become a more Republican, rural central, rather than Valley district. The legal and logistical problem is somewhat like the Bonilla issue–how to save Farenthold’s incumbency, and at the same time keep the district one in which Hispanics can control the outcome, or alternately to provide a new Hispanic-controlled district (such as the Cuellar first incarnation of districts).

  2. blank says:

    It would not surprise me at all if they made 1 Dem VRA district that spans from South Padre Island to Corpus Christi and 1 GOP district that includes to rest of Nueces and goes north. The former could be one by Ortiz, while the latter would be Farenthold’s for the taking. Otherwise, it’s too hard to give Farenthold a district of his own without illegally tampering with a VRA district. I suspect something similar to could happen in Bexar with Canseco and Rodriguez too.