Skip to comments.Hispanics who lost campaigns complain of bias
Posted on 03/05/2010 7:14:37 AM PST by Responsibility2nd
AUSTIN Hispanic candidates ran strongly in many Republican primary races across Texas this week, but two candidates are blaming their losses to Anglos on racially polarized voting.
Election returns and political consultants, however, say the losses of Railroad Commissioner Victor Carrillo and Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Leo Vasquez probably had more to do with personal issues and poorly run campaigns than ethnicity.
Carrillo's father and half brother died last year, and Carrillo underwent surgery for a benign brain tumor, all cutting into the time Carrillo spent campaigning for re-election.
Vasquez lost social conservative support, Harris County Republicans said, because he lives with a woman married to another man.
Carrillo, who won the 2004 Republican nomination by defeating an Anglo in a runoff, stunned many Republicans by sending out an e-mail blaming his loss Tuesday to a little-known opponent, David Porter, on racially biased voting.
Early polling showed that the typical GOP primary voter has very little info about the position of Railroad Commissioner, what we do, or who my opponent or I were, Carrillo said in his e-mail to supporters. Given the choice between 'Porter' and 'Carrillo' unfortunately, the Hispanic surname was a serious setback from which I could never recover although I did all in my power to overcome this built-in bias.
Republicans have been trying to reach out to Hispanic voters in recent years but have been hurt by anti-immigration rhetoric that some take to be anti-Hispanic. Carrillo's statement is likely to fuel that fire.
A similar argument was made when appointed Texas Supreme Court Justice Xavier Rodriguez lost the 2002 GOP primary to Steven Wayne Smith. But there also have been examples of Hispanic candidates who defeated Anglos in the primary when they ran strong campaigns, such as when Tony Garza won the railroad commissioner nomination over former U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman of Beaumont.
Election returns from Tuesday's voting show Carrillo lost not only statewide but also in traditionally Hispanic counties, such as Hidalgo and Cameron.
Hispanic candidates for Congress made it into runoffs in several districts over Anglo opponents. For example, in Congressional District 17, which runs from Navasota to Granbury, Bill Flores got into a runoff by capturing more votes than Carrillo in all but one of the district's urban counties.
In the Supreme Court Place 9 race, which was down the ballot from the railroad commissioner race, there were more than 1.1 million ballots cast in a race that gave Eva Guzman the nomination over Rose Vela meaning at least some of the voters who cast ballots for Porter also voted for one of the Hispanic women.
Republican consultant Ted Delisi said Carrillo spent far less than railroad Commissioners Elizabeth Ames Jones or Michael Williams spent on their re-election campaigns and said Carrillo did little personal campaigning.
In the end, a bad campaign is just a bad campaign, Delisi said.
Former Harris County Tax Assessor Collector Paul Bettencourt said he saw the difference in how Guzman campaigned for office while Carrillo was nowhere to be seen.
Eva Guzman is like a rock star in the Republican Party, Bettencourt said.
Bettencourt's successor in office, Vasquez, also was blaming racially polarized voting for his loss to tea party activist Don Sumners.
It is perplexing that someone could basically spend no money whatsoever and mount no campaign and win as handily as he did, Vasquez said. The same thing happened in the Victor Carrillo race as well.
But Bettencourt said Vasquez lost because he had issues in his personal life that cost him the support of social conservative organizations.
Consultant Allen Blakemore, speaking for social conservative leader Steve Hotze, said Republicans were upset with Vasquez for settling a voter registration lawsuit with Democrats and for not being vocal on property tax increases as Bettencourt had been. However, Blakemore said the final blow came when social conservative leaders learned Vasquez lives with a woman married to another man.
Vasquez admitted social conservative leaders Hotze and Terry Lowry probably got him (Sumners) another 10,000 votes and maybe even made the full difference between us.
The Republican Party, especially in Harris County, has been, unfortunately, overly controlled and influenced by a small, but vocal group on the religious right, and we need to get back to the core principles of fiscal conservative issues rather than these social issues that are being perpetuated by that small, but vocal, minority, Vasquez said.
Vasquez refused to discuss whether his personal life made a difference, though he and SuZanne Feather said they have had a relationship for a decade.
Our relationship never seemed to be an issue while we were out writing the checks and putting up the signs and doing other grassroots work for the Republican Party, Vasquez said.
/heavy sacrasm off.
if you live by the race card, you die by the race card...
It looks like “victim” mentality has hit the Hispanic community. Perhaps they lost because of their campaigns?
Personally I would vote for any Conseervative candidate with whom I was largely in agreement, regardless of race or gender. Perhaps these guys were sending signals to their base that they were pro-amnesty, which the Anglo voters noticed and rejected?
Well obviously the only way to correct this situation is for Obama to decree that a white vote is 3/5 of a vote.
Hy,Paco,I don’t like being called an Anglo!
I believe the race-baiters are all in for a rude awakening.
When the economy is humming and the future is bright, whitey will tolerate all this nonsense.
Right now, white people (whom the race-baiters are absolutely dependant on) have their own problems, i.e., a racist President bent on pizzing away their children/grandchildren’s future.
The race card is DONE, son, with Political Correctness soon to follow.
“Well. Next time we should all elect incompetent unqualified candidates because of their race. “
We tried that in 2008.
No kidding I’m a honky dammit.
BTW that’s our word so don’t you dare use it.
And if you ran for elective office in Mexico under the name Smith, what would your chances be of winning?
So, I suggest these people go home to avoid the issue.
And if they lost because of their ethnicity so what? 95% of blacks voted for obama because he’s black. The numbers are almost as high for hispanics. Personally I would vote for the most conservative candidate, and if these losers are crying about the gingos not voting for them, they obviously aren’t that conservative.
Agreed. Look, I don’t care a flying rip what you look like as long as you are conservative and love America.
And if you ran for elective office in Mexico under the name Smith, what would your chances be of winning?
They’ve already elected a President named Fox
Become a feel good, diversified, all inclusive democrat!~sarc
The Blacks at my high school would call us the yellow haired boys
Sure, the voters were biased.
I don’t know about Smith, but there is a member of the Mexican Congress (Cámara de Diputados) named Jackson.
Since I carry the surname “Porter”, I find this extremely funny!!
On a another note, it is interesting that many Latinos find themselves more conservative than liberal according to the polls.
But how does this jive with the OVERWHELMING support for OBummer??
My feeling is that Programs TRUMP religious values.
Carillo’s radio ad made a big deal of the pronounciation of his name, with heavily trilling rrrrrrrrrrrrrrz in Carrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrillo. It turned me off.
We have a severe problem here in Texas with illegals. While Carillo is obviously no illegal, and by all reports is conservative, using that heavy emphasis was a bonehead move. There is no comparable sound in English.
Texans (Americans !) of Hispanic descent are common here. Their history and contributions go way, way back before Texas independence, and are taught in our schools.
But that trilling crap was a thumb in the eye to those of us concerned with the flood of illegals infesting Texas. By sticking it in his ad, Carillo aligned himself with the racists of La Raza, Mecha and like organizaions. It was a racist appeal that backfired.
He chose “poorly”.
ah... I so sad for them...
Maybe they should go back to their own countries where they wont have the “white man” keeping them down.
“Vasquez lost social conservative support, Harris County Republicans said, because he lives with a woman married to another man.”
Mr. Vasquez: FYI, that is not racism, that is adultery. I, for one, am very biased and prejudiced against anyone running for public office who is living in adultery. Go ahead - call me judgmental.
Are they complaining about Latinos who vote for Latinos just because they are Latino?
but now they are trying to balkanize white, european, or non-special protection types with the word “anglo.”
it is like the Indian caste system where anglo becomes code for untouchables.
If he can't carry the Latino vote, maybe he should look into another line of welfare, errr government subsidized job.
Would it be better if he used just a light trill?
Or just used the usual Texas pronunciation ‘Kahrilllo’?
He was the incumbent and he lost the primary and started screaming racism. He didn't lose the primary because of race, he lost it because people are tired of the same old BS and things are getting worse, not better. Perry would have lost in Texas if a more conservative opponent had been run against him.
This is nothing more than sour grapes. I am certainly not going to let PC guide my vote. This is exactly what the left wants, they want politicians to be voted on in the same way students get admitted to college etc., by race, not by ability.
Affirmative action for political candidates, whoopee, won't the country be in great shape then.
If he had thought that his name would be a liability in the race why not just anglicize the name. Pronounce the double L as l's and not like a y.
Here in the Southeast, hispanics that are trying to blend in often use anglicized pronunciations of their names.
I guess the 65% of Hispanics who always vote Democrat had nothing to do with these loses.
That'll do it.
He didn't want to run with his Spanish name - Zorro.
Leo Vasquez lost because many people feel that he has done a bad job. I don’t envy him following Bettencourt, but he needed to pick it up.
Incompetent unqualified candidates come in all colors see Obama.
I don't get near the heartburn over the double ll's as y's.
I don't pronounce tor-tee-ya as tor-till-ah, and I'm sure there are other examples. But when I hear that trilling pronounciation or r's, I know the speaker is 1) a Spanish speaking foreign visitor, 2) an illegal alien, or 3) somebody who wants to shove Spanish (or heritage) up my nose by using pronounciation IMPOSSIBLE in English. In an all English commercial, Carillo impressed me as trying #3.
People of latin descent are well represented and well regarded in Texas.
Race pimps aren't.
I'd never have noticed a "Kah-ree-oh" or a "Kah-rill-oh". But the trilling I sure did. As I'm writing in English, I can't even properly write the sound phonetically - it doesn't exist.
It's a pitch to Mexican heritage pimps in an all English commercial. It's offensive to me, just like the Houston radio station "La Raza". They apparently have no idea how disgustingly racist that is, or they don't care.