Here's the cherry on top of the "Democrats take back both houses" sundae: Ciro Rodriguez appears to have won his "second chance" race for a House seat!
Ciro's is a long story. He initially was a good Democratic representative from a relatively liberal district in Texas (yes, they do exist), and a chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. But his district was eliminated in Tom Delay's illegal gerrymandering of Texas' House districts. (You remember this movie of the week: Texas' Democratic state legislators boycotted the redistricting hearing so that the Republicans wouldn't have a quorum to pass the law creating the illegal new districts; Texas Republicans ordered the Texas troopers to arrest any Democratic legislators they could find and bring them to the leg to forcibly create a quorum; the Dems fled to Oklahoma to avoid arrest; Delay ordered Homeland Security to track the Dems' plane, claiming it was a national emergency; the Dems finally had to cave in order to get any other business done, since they couldn't stay out of the building forever.)
Ciro then ran in a different Democratic district to unseat a Democrat In Name Only (and lifetime member of the Vichy Hall of Shame), Henry Cuellar, who sat on the Republican side of the aisle during one of Bush's State of the Union addresses and apparently had a quiet orgasm when Bush lovingly caressed his face with his baby-soft hands. VichyDems supported Ciro, and a number of our friends donated to him via VichyDems' ActBlue site, but Rahm Emanuel's Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee gave Ciro no help (they only, and always, support Democratic incumbents no matter how bad), and while Ciro came close he didn't manage to unseat Cuellar -- a very disappointing loss to everyone, including his campaign staff, who worked their asses off for him.
But then Delay was arrested, and much of his nefarious work was undone. Among other things, the unravelling of Delay's machinations resulted in the judicial creation of a new district in Texas: TX-23. In November, Ciro ran again, this time as the Democratic nominee in TX-23, against Henry Bonilla. Early returns showed him losing -- but now, as numbers keep trickling in, he appears to have won, and the Associated Press has now declared him the winner!
Let's hope it sticks. Ciro will be one of the best we've got in the House (especially since he, more than most, has personally been spanked by a Vichy and knows their foul stench when he smells it).
Kudos to Kos and Atrios for catching this. And congratulations, Congressman Rodriguez and everyone associated with his campaign!
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