Ever since I was a wee small lad growing up in Houston, Texas, I've been a watcher of politics and especially political contests. It's probably no surprise that I work for a politician, although many of my friends have always thought me destined for politics. But even as a child, when my dad ran for several different offices both successfully and unsuccessfully, the process has been crooked and the halls of the elections are lined with folks with their hands out, either trying to get into your pockets or trying to put some bribes, er, I mean campaign contributions, in your pocket.
This year is different in many aspects. There's no big surprise as to who the Republican Party's Presidential candidate will be, regardless of the outcome tonight. I say tonight, because this year our Texas Primary Election is two and a half months late. What was traditionally always held on the first or second Tuesday (I forget which) in March has been delayed until today due to various law suits and controvery about a recent redistricting.
So what normally was a cool time of year to have friends over to watch the election results come in is now a hot and humid evening not conducive to patio standing and sitting and the consumption of adult beverages while doing same. You can have a lot more people over for a party like this when they can mill about between the living room and the kitchen/dining room and the back patio. But nobody will want to be hanging out in the out of doors this evening until well after dark. For example, as I write this, it is 98 degrees in the shade at my home right now.
There's one big race in my county tonight, one for a district judgeship. But there are several very important district attorney races going on in the state, and for me those are the DA races in Williamson, Travis and Harris Counties. To those of you not from Texas, I know those county names don't mean a thing. Harris County is Houston, Texas and Travis is Austin, Texas. Williamson County, or Wilco, is not so well known, being immediately north of Austin proper but 180 degrees different in political philosophy. Whereas Austin is primarily "blue", as in Democrat, Wilco is Red and Republican. Wilco has been one of the fastest growing counties in the nation since the early 90's, growing from a small, mostly rural with a couple of small towns to being the big city. Dell is there. Many other companies are there.
In any event, I'll be watching those races for DA and for judge, as well as some judicial and sheriff elections in other counties that friends of mine are running in. I nearly gave a run for a judgeship this year, talking myself out of it as well as I had nearly talked myself into it. It requires a good bit of money and a heck of a lot of time to conduct a political campaign, and I had the money but wasn't sure about the time. As it turned out, what became a minor medical problem (instead of a major one) reared it's ugly head and it's a good thing I didn't run. Maybe next time.
As it is, where I live now we don't have the lightning fast reporting of results that we had in Houston. Even in my childhood, TV was pretty good about getting the latest boxes posted as they come in. Here, where I live now, as in many other parts of Texas, folks gather at the Courthouse or near it and post the results as they come in. It's an exciting party, but I'd rather stay at the house and relax with the family and perhaps a few friends and neighbors than hang out with a bunch of loud drinking folks, because where I live, serious drinking goes along with serious politics.
We'll probably run by the Courthouse for a few minutes about sundown, before everyone has started drinking hard. There's always old friends there that I'll want to see and have not seen in awhile. It'll be before the final results are tallied, depending on turnout, but the early results will have already been in since soon after 7 p.m.
So the internets will keep me up to date with the Houston and Austin election results on a minute by minute basis while the cell phone will keep me posted on the local races. I'm glad my future is not on the line tonight, in more ways than one.
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