Due to the ugliness and craziness of the County Judge and County Attorney Races the race for District Clerk is going under the radar. The reason thats surprising is because the race involves the incumbent Gilbert Sanchez, who still has a couple of charges from the FBI hanging over his head.
Its a crowded field that have thrown their hats in the ring to take on Sanchez including Norma Favela, Jeremiah McCrimmon, Connie Telles-Odom, Rosa Cervantes, and Gilbert Pinon. There are basically two tiers of candidates in this race. The top tier consists of the candidates that have the best chance of winning based on money, infrastructure, name ID, and campaign work put in.
My list of top-tier candidates include Gilbert Sanchez, Connie Telles-Odom, and Norma Favela. The second tier candidates are Rosa Cervantes, Gilbert Pinon, and Jeremiah McCrimmon. The thing the second-tier candidates have in common is the fact that they all jumped in the race later than the rest. They also have less qualifications for the job than the top-tier candidates.
But things have tightened up a bit over the last few weeks, particularly in the last 10-14 days. I'd now say the second tier candidates only consist of McCrimmon and Pinon. Almost based on hustle alone, Cervantes seems to have moved up to the top tier and probably has as good a chance as any of the other candidates of making a run-off. She's moving up and Norma Favela may be trending down, despite securing a few more endorsements.
Here's what each of the candidates offer.
Connie Telles-Odom – Her strength is clearly her knowledge of the courthouse process. She has a bit of an edge over some of the other candidates because she's run before and knows what to expect. Her association with Judge Alfredo Chavez has gone completely undiscussed and she's escaped from his shadow and shown herself to be one of the candidates most likely to make a run-off.
Norma Favela - Her strength is leadership and administrative experience. Outside of the incumbent, she's the candidate with the most experience running a big office in the courthouse. She also has a good understanding of the complexity of the process, but lacks direct experience in the District Clerks office. She could make the run-off, but needs to take some time off from work and kick some butt.
Rosa Cervantes – Her experience isn't as deep as Telles-Odom and Favela, but she has an understanding of customer service issues and document processing. She has an outside chance of making the run-off but needs some help along the way.
Jeremiah McCrimmon - He's worked in the District Clerk's office as an entry-level employee. He has some experience in the operations of the office, but from an employee perspective and not really a management level. He has no name ID, no money, no signage, and no base. Not going to make the run-off, but he's young so he has a future.
Gilbert Pinon – Pinon has no direct experience but in general has leadership experience. He always looks like he's in a bad mood or would rather be somewhere else, but he's been upping his profile lately. Absolutely won't make the run-off.
Gilbert Sanchez – Despite several scandals and a few charges from the feds, Sanchez is still not only a viable candidate, but probably the front runner. Aside from the headlines, Sanchez is a name people know, even if they only know it from negative headlines. And just under those headlines, lies some real accomplishments that he hasn't really done a good job of taking credit for. Sanchez will probably be in the run-off.
Look for this race to take on a much sharper tone in the run-off. This race will be in the spot light during the run-off because the County Judge race will likely not be a run-off so all the attention will be on the District Clerk's Office. That's when Sanchez will really start to feel the heat.
Next time, I'll analyze the race for Commissioner's Court Precinct 2.