Pretty much as expected. Here’s the vote totals from the County Clerk:
Candidate Votes Pct ========================= Garcia 7,416 45.37 Alvarado 6,803 41.62 Bray 1,014 6.20 Olmos 461 2.82 Martinez 403 2.47 Reyes 125 0.76 Selva 73 0.45 Delgado 52 0.32
Two points of interest here. One is that the Election Day vote total was 7,747, which was 47.4% of the 16,347 total votes cast; the absentee ballots received in the last few days pushed the early vote total up to 8,600. That meant that the final total was even below my low-end estimate. As I said before, this could be a case where the runoff gets as many votes as the first round, maybe even a bit more. But any way you look at it this is uninspiring.
The other point is that while Garcia had a majority of the absentee ballots and a plurality of the in person early votes, Alvarado nipped her by 33 votes on Election Day. This is just a reminder that anything can happen in the runoff, and the only thing that really matters in elections like this is getting your people to show up. Forget how many votes anyone got in November. Special elections are a whole other ball game.
As for when the runoff will be, the Trib reminds us of the timeline.
Harris County elections officials have 10 days to canvass Election Day results, while Perry’s office has 14, according to the Secretary of State. The governor’s canvass can’t take place until the county finishes its canvass, and the governor has five days after his canvass to order the runoff election. The runoff would have to be set on a date between the 12th and 25th day after Perry ordered it, and it must take place on a Tuesday or a Saturday.
Basically, some time in the next seven weeks, which is to say some time between now and March 16. Don’t expect it much earlier than that.
Even some of Alvarado’s closest political allies privately concede defeating Garcia will be difficult, especially after trailing in this weekend’s election. Garcia’s lead in the general election will help her attract campaign funds from contributors hoping to buy favor with the next state senator.
Maybe. It’s about getting your people out, and as we can see it doesn’t necessarily take that many of them. I would not take any bets on the outcome of the runoff.