Its become somewhat of a tradition here on the L*B that I give out fake post election awards to candidates, campaigns, etc after the election. Its all meant in good fun so don't get your panties in a wad.
Best Political Slogan - "The People's Judge" Bill Hicks used this slogan and his people in the valley had shirts that said, "El Juez de la Gente".
Best Sign Engineer - Mr. Perez, Vince Perez's dad. He came up with a way of displaying signs that looks like a small pyramid and his held down by bricks. I don't know why it hasn't been used before but other campaigns incorporated the idea near the end.
Best Campaign T-Shirts - The I Heart Beto shirts. Personally they annoy the hell out of me because they scream young hipster douchebag, but they became very popular and I saw them everywhere. Beto had overall the best design work in terms of buttons and stuff.
Most Annoying Social Media Operative - My friend freakin' Matt Sutton! This guy single-handedly must've caused half of El Paso to change their Facebook settings to that they couldn't be tagged in pictures because of this guy. Since I travel in political circles I would often hear a stream of expletives from people because "pinche Matt, he tagged me again." Gotta love the devotion though.
Best Comeback Line During a Debate of the Campaign - This one is easy. Mary Gonzalez whacked an SISD board member, Craig Patton who has trying to grill her during a candidate forum. He's a friend of her opponent and he's really tall. Taller than Beto O'Rourke tall. Mary Gonzalez is small. Hobbit small. She turned the question around on Patton and it was a defining moment in terms of her credibility as a candidate.
Best Debate of the Campaign - Luis Torres and Beto O'Rourke at the Transmountain debate. Followed closely by their debate Valle Verde. Great stuff, especially for political nerds like me. Too bad Torres wasn't the candidate. He also gets award for the Best Stand-In for a candidate.
Best Debate Performer - A tie between Beto O'Rourke and Vince Perez. The two best communicators in El Paso politics in this town bar none. They were in different races but each of them out classed their opponents and each of them had different challenges to deal with. O'Rourke had to deal with rarely facing his actual opponent and then had to maintain composure and credibility while on the stage with other candidates that ranged from weird, to crazy, to comical. Perez also stood out from the crowd in terms of debate performances and had the second-best comeback line during a debate of a campaign. It was part of the Best Closing Statement in a Debate (by a Duo or Group, sorry, I always wanted to say that) during the debate in Socorro. Interestingly both candidates won their races and if you're thinking a dream match-up some day between O'Rourke and Perez in a debate you're too late. Its already happened. They debated on drug legalization on KVIA a few months before the campaign got started.
Worst Debate Performer - A tie between Mary Gonzalez and Liza Montelongo. They both had up and down performances and when they were good, they were good. When they were bad...well it was sorta uncomfortable to be in the room.
Most Memorable Line from a Debate: "Brain fart." - Liza Montelongo
Biggest "D'Oh!" of the Campaign - Representatives Marquez and Gonzalez support for a Republican who then lost to a Democrat they will now have to serve with.
Biggest Political Comeback: Smokin' Joe Moody's second knock out of Dee Margo
Turning Point of Campaign Season - The arrest of then-County Commissioner and HD 75 State Rep Candidate Willie Gandara, Jr on drug trafficking charges. The incident completely changed the complexion of two races.
Worst Use of Campaign Funds - I know what you're thinking, it should go to Congressman Reyes and State Rep Chente Quintanilla for spending all kinds of money, being a front-runner, and still losing. Normally you'd be right, however this award goes to Dee Margo. How can you leave 200 large in your account in a tight race.
Most Effective Mail Piece - That award was going to go to Vince Perez for a couple of different pieces of mail he deployed. But then I saw Judge Hicks' mailer. Hands down the most effective piece of mail of the campaign. I actually said the word "Zas!" out-loud when I saw it.
Best Team Player Award - Mary Gonzalez. After winning her seat in the Primary, Gonzalez went across Texas to help other Democrats and most-notably State Rep-Elect Joe Moody. Big contrast to their colleagues Marquez and the other Gonzalez. Mary Gonzalez also helped the Pete Gallego campaign quite a bit down in the valley and was Johnny-on-the-spot with a few things. Gallego is damned lucky she was putting out small brush fires.
Best Political Duo or Group - The Progressives. They don't lose and they all have each other's back. They will shortly be in charge of just about every major political level in the County and there is very little that can stop them.
Most Miles Spent Block-Walking - Beto O'Rourke. He wore out a lot of leather.
Candidates That Should Stop Running for Office - Dan Chavez, Ben Mendoza, and Fred Chavez. Seriously guys, get the hint. Notice I did not say Jerome Tilghman. He doesn't need to stop running, he just needs to stop having visions of grandeur and run for something he can, and should, win. Like EPISD School Board of Trustees.
Candidate with the Most Devoted Supporter - Bill Hicks. Have you seen the 1970-something Gremlin that is plastered with Hicks stickers?
Going the Extra Mile - One goes to a campaign the other goes to a specific volunteer. Middle-of-the-night door tagging operation by the Vince Perez campaign to remind voters to vote on Election Day. Crystal Ontiveros for helping out the Mary Gonzalez campaign and then jumping in to help with phone-banking for another campaign while she was out of town. Gangsta.
Worst Place to Poll Sit - Fabens. Its the earth-equivalent to Tatooine. You only get that reference if you are a Star Wars nerd and have been to the Fabens early voting site. There is so much sand and wind there that you expect to see Obi Wan Kanobi scare off Sand People at any minute. Seriously, Fabens blows. You have to hand literature to people in the car while they are pulling in to the polling site. Lame.
Best Place to Poll Sit - During a contested primary, it HAS to be Carolina. That's where stuff always hits the fan. Plus they have wi-fi.
Best Place to Vote if You Want to Avoid Poll Sitters - Basset Center
Best Contraption Made for Poll Sitting - Rudy Loya's Man Cave. It had everything you need. Signage, shade, chairs, coolers of cold drinks, and good conversation.
Terms I'm Tired of Hearing, Saying, or Writing - Document dump (it sounds like what the character from I'm Just a Bill of School House Rock Fame does when he has to drop a duece) "We the People", universe, target, downtown stadium, take our country back, liberty, push cards, "took away our vote", ballparks for billionaires, nullification & secession, and recall.
Funniest Campaign Moment - Three-way tie between Ben Mendoza advocating for the US to annex Mexico, the look on the Republican Congressional nominee's face when the speaker for the Labor Day breakfast was ripping Romney a new one, and the Vince Perez/Fred Chavez debate.
Best Shadow Ninja, Stealthy, and Possibly Sith Lord Political Move - El Paso Liberty Group. Through the help of a wise Jedi Master, they were able to infiltrate the Sith, or as I like to call them, the Republican Party, and take leadership positions and the majority of delegates to the Texas State Republican Convention. The Force is strong with them.
Most Likely to Secede - Also the El Paso Liberty Group