Some interesting tidbits in here.
Despite the minority makeup of a newly drawn congressional district, a San Antonio Latina candidate faces a steep uphill climb against a white Austin liberal with a long tenure in the nation’s capital.
Sylvia Romo, the Bexar County tax assessor-collector, and Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, are battling with political newcomer Maria Luisa Alvarado of San Antonio for the Democratic nomination in the 35th Congressional District.
“The fact that the battle lines are in San Antonio is bad news for Romo,” said David Wasserman, a House race analyst at The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan newsletter.
Wasserman said “Doggett has Austin locked up, and he is charging hard in Bexar” County, where the district includes portions of San Antonio and nearly half the 35th’s voters.
Doggett told the San Antonio Express-News Editorial Board that the 35th District contains about half his former constituents.
Perhaps the biggest break for Doggett came when Rep. Charlie Gonzalez, D-San Antonio, announced he would not seek re-election in the neighboring 20th District and state Rep. Joaquin Castro, also a Democrat, decided to seek that seat.
Castro was seen by political pundits as a formidable foe to Doggett in the 35th District.
“Doggett dodged a big arrow when Charlie Gonzalez retired and Joaquin Castro walked into the 20th,” Wasserman said.
While Doggett has $3.1 million in the bank, Romo has only $14,000 and Alvarado, $653, according to Federal Election Commission reports.
But Romo says she remains a considerable opponent with a chance to win the seat and represent the working-class sections of Austin, San Marcos and San Antonio.
“I have great positive name ID in Bexar County,” she said, adding; “Money is important, but it is not the only factor.”
I’m surprised Romo hasn’t raised more money. She’s a multi-term countywide officeholder in Bexar, she has most of the San Antonio political establishment on her side, and as she herself says she’d be the first Latina elected to Congress from Texas. Given all that, you’d think she’d have more financial support for her candidacy. I’m not as convinced as the Cook Report guy that Doggett has the advantage here – the bulk of this district is in Bexar County, Doggett has no choice but to run hard there – but the financial disparity is suggestive. My interview with Romo is here. After several attempts to make contact with someone in Rep. Doggett’s office and campaign, I did hear back from someone a couple of weeks ago but she told me that his calendar was pretty full and that she couldn’t say when there might be time for me to do an interview with him. I’m still hopeful I will have the chance to do so, but that’s the way it goes.