Election 2006: Democrats Extend Their Majority with Victory in Texas-23

Wiki the VoteIn a runoff election held yesterday in Texas’s 23rd District, former Democratic Rep. Ciro Rodriguez defeated incumbent Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-Texas), 55%-45%. With Rodriguez’s win, the Democrats now stand to hold a 233-202 advantage when the 110th Congress convenes next month.

In June, the Supreme Court ruled that a 2003 reconfiguration of the 23rd District (orchestrated by former Rep. Tom DeLay) unconstitutionally violated the voting rights of Latinos. The ruling threw out the results from the primary, which had already occurred, and opened up the November 7th election to all interested candidates. Because Bonilla narrowly missed the required 50% for victory on that day, a runoff election was ordered between Bonilla and Rodriguez, who finished second. With his victory in the runoff, Rodriguez will now return to Congress, where he previously served from 1997 to 2005 in Texas’s 28th District.

Now that the runoff races in both Louisiana and Texas are complete, there remains just one contested House seat in (where else) Florida. In the state's 13th District, Republican Vern Buchanan has been certified the winner of Rep. Katherine Harris's open seat with a 369 vote margin over Democrat Christine Jennings. In the election, however, 18,000 votes recorded no choice for the race, indicating major problems with the electronic voting machines used. Jennings and several organizations have filed suit to challenge the results and force a new election because the machines left no paper trail.