What a disastrous election night for the Harris County Republican Party.
Arguably, County Judge Ed Emmett has been the best head of Harris County in its history. Unquestionably, County Commissioner Jack Morman has served his constituents well. Both office holders deserved to be retained in office, but come next year they will be gone.
Emmett and Morman were swept away by a straight party voting blue tsunami. So were all the other county Republican office holders.
Emmett will be replaced by 27-year-old Lina Hidalgo who is completely unqualified to fill his shoes. Hidalgo has a political science degree from Stanford but has been working as a Spanish-English medical interpreter at the Texas Medical Center.
Morman will be replaced by perpetual candidate Adrian Garcia. Although Garcia is a former Houston police officer and sheriff of Harris County, every law enforcement officer organization in Houston and Harris County supported Morman and opposed Garcia’s election. Garcia’s tenure as sheriff was marked by scandals involving his deputies in the Harris County jail.
It did not take a nuclear scientist to figure out this would happen. What is surprising is that the elections were actually close. According to the US Census Bureau, as of July 1, 2017, the population of Harris County, which includes Houston, was 43 percent Hispanic or Latino, 29.7 percent non-Hispanic white and 19.7 percent black.
|Race and Hispanic Origin||Percent|
|White alone, percent||69.80%|
|Black or African American alone, percent||19.70%|
|American Indian and Alaska Native alone, percent||1.10%|
|Asian alone, percent||7.30%|
|Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, percent||0.10%|
|Two or More Races, percent||1.90%|
|Hispanic or Latino, percent||43.00%|
|White alone, not Hispanic or Latino, percent||29.70%|
Thus Hispanics and blacks constitute nearly 63 percent of Harris County’s population, two groups that if they turn out to vote will vote a straight-Democratic ticket.
I predict that the Hispanic population will continue to grow and eclipse all other demographic groups in Harris County. Houston and the county will be Democratic strongholds for the foreseeable future with a huge majority of Hispanics.
Luckily, this was the last election with the straight ticket option. Perhaps Republicans can retool their message and take advantage of that.