In terms of campaign mechanics, the GOP locally is a joke. Other than the Margo campaign very few people in the GOP locally know anything about campaigning.
Its why they always end up with sub-par candidates and get waxed in elections. But...there are a couple of candidates that the GOP should be paying attention to.
Justice Chris Antcliff and Judge Bill Hicks. Both candidates seem to "get it". Antcliff has spent several election cycles investing in his brand. It helps that he's running for a position on the bench and not a policy position, but he is far better at convincing people to cross-over to vote for his candidacy than say the GOP nominee for Congress, What's-Her-Name or their senatorial sacrificial lamb Dan Chavez.
He's also utilizing Spanish language media. What's-Her-Name does so but in a clumsy way. I've seen stuff that says she's going to help Hispanics and owns a Hispanic business. (If a flower business is a business and sells flowers, and a cell phone business sells cell phones, then a Hispanic business - oh forget it, my head hurts.) Antcliff doesn't try that appeal. He just markets himself and his message in Spanish.
Since he has better name ID, I think he'll out perform the rest of the ticket in El Paso County. I still think he loses El Paso County, but he's in a multi-county race. He out-performed the rest of the field in the 2010 election as well. I expect that to continue.
Bill Hicks is taking an entirely different approach. He's a Republican, but honestly, the vato campaigns like a Democrat. Hicks has poll sitters and is working the Valley pretty hard. He also had a mail program and from what I've seen, its a pretty effective mail program. He sent targeted mail to a specific universe of voters. It was a negative piece about his opponent that targeted women voters.
From the reception of voters at Pavo Real, I would say it was an effective piece of mail. Since women voters vote at a higher rate than men in El Paso County, I'd call that a win for Hicks.
I don't think he has the ability to overcome the election mass in El Paso County and I think ultimately Luis Aguilar will win the seat, but I'm betting Hicks also out-performs the rest of the Republicans.
Someday the GOP will stop being the Keystone Cops of El Paso politics and get their act together and field credible candidates for a change.
Thankfully that is probably a long way off and gives us a chance to reshape the Democratic Party in El Paso in to a more effective organization.