Friday, May 12, 2017

Election Analysis: D4

The northeast seat has been pretty quiet in the first round of elections - uncharacteristically so. Normally anything having to do with the northeast part of town and politics is a lot of drama featuring El Paso's most diverse community.

But don't expect that to stay the same. Expect things to get heated and expect it to come from Sam Morgan based on his behavior in the race so far.

Sam Morgan went into the run-off with 42% of the vote. I expected him up around 48% of the vote because the district has seen his name on the ballot before, he came within a few votes of winning previously and was so close to winning that he asked for a recount.

So he is sorta the incumbent. He went through the trouble of cutting his hair - and made a public spectacle of it - because he felt like a few votes didn't go his way last time because of his dreds.

But lets keep this in perspective, Sam Morgan was in a run-off with an incumbent and managed to lose! That almost never happens. When and incumbent in El Paso is in a run-off election, they are almost always toast. He was a younger and more progressive candidate running against a much older candidate in Representative Carl Robinson who was also pretty unpopular - and managed to lose that run-off election.

He's facing Shane Haggerty who comes from a prominent family that are basically all Democrats now with the exception of Andrew Haggerty. Haggerty has only been on the ballot in a small portion of the northeast - the Parkland area that he represents on the YISD Board of Trustees.

From what I understand, he sent no mail in the first round and had only a small about of support from the unions. Now the unions, especially the fire fighter's union, are coming in big for Haggerty. He may have been sparing some powder in his musket for the run-off election so it wouldn't surprise me if he all of a sudden started hitting mail boxes and doors in this round of elections.

The challenge for Haggerty is can he get voters to vote for him in the areas of the district that don't know him yet. If the election were about qualifications, then Haggerty would've won in the first election without a run-off, but they aren't.

On paper Haggerty would be the easy choice. He was the only candidate that has ever managed a multi-million dollar budget paid for by tax payers. Morgan I believe is on an advisory board for the EPISD bond, but its advisory and doesn't actually touch any money. Haggerty is the only candidate that has secured millions of dollars in infrastructure for the northeast - something the city rep hasn't done - and Morgan hasn't. In an era where people don't trust government Haggerty is the only candidate that has actually made government more transparent.

Morgan is a Green Beret, Special Forces veteran of over 20 years in the Army. The guy has more medals than Patton. A real life Rambo. Very well respected in the veteran community and there are a lot of veterans in the northeast.

Haggerty is a retired fire fighter of over 20 years. So you've got two guys that have made a career of putting their lives on the line for their community both vying to represent the northeast. Frankly, that should make the northeast very proud.

Its not that Morgan isn't qualified, its just that Haggerty is so much more qualified than Morgan. If you listen to Morgan himself, he has said one of his biggest contributions to the Northeast was getting the once-dormant Northeast Democrats started again. At most they have 50 members. And he speaks a lot about a book her wrote on leadership.

That doesn't compare too well with $60 million in upgrades in the Parkland area, new scoreboards at the high school, ensuring teachers got fair pay, passing a bond, and balancing a budget in which YISD was the lowest tax rate entity over most of his tenure at the District.

Where Sam has the advantage is the solidarity of the African-American vote and being known across the district. Haggerty has to get voters across the district to know who he is and he only has a short time to do so, which will require a lot of muscle to get it done.

Morgan's weakness is two-fold. One, its his demeanor. At a time when council has been plagued with personality problems, people who can't get along with one another and city reps that lose their temper, Morgan has already demonstrated that issue. There are reps being investigated for not following the rules when it comes to transparency and Morgan allegedly hasn't followed rules about campaign finances and then didn't want to answer questions about it when asked by the El Paso Times.

His other weakness is field. His field guy is working several other campaigns. You can't afford to have a field person that isn't 100% focused on you when the chips are down like they are in a run-off.

Morgan still has a lot of advantages in this race, but its not in the bag for him like he might believe it is judging by his statements on Election Night.

This race will likely be the closest of them all on election night.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations Lionstar. FINALLY a well written, bipartisan analysis election coverage blog that focuses on facts not just your opinion. I understand this is your blog and your opinion is the driving force but this particular blog was actually worth reading and more importantly...mostly ACCURATE. Mr. Haggerty stopped by my house prior to the election and he was friendly, articulate and very refreshing. He focused on his issues not Mr. Morgan. I don't recall Sam Morgan's name coming up once. He's found a way to campaign without throwing mud and/or blasting his opponents weaknesses. Unfortunately for him, in this city, that will probably cost him the election. Most of our voters are not educated but only listen to the garbage on these blogs and the media. I don't live in the Parkland area so I believe he is getting out there to those areas where he is less know. I don't think it's enough though and the NE will continue to be mis-represented. We are SOOOO much more than gang bangers and military families. The central part of Dyer street is NOT define the NE although local media outlets seem to think that it does. We are the hidden gem of El Paso.

The Lion Star said...

Well thank you kind sir for your stirring compliments. My day is made better having read them and your thoughtful and insightful analysis!

The Lion Star said...

Just kidding, you can still go fuck yourself!

A Veteran said...

"I will be voting for "A New Northeast Vibe!"...enough said...

A Veteran said...

"I am voting for A New northeast Vibe!"

The Lion Star said...

I am also "A Veteran" - but don't live there.

Tell me why. Is it for any other reason than he's a veteran?

I'm seriously asking.

And what exactly is a new northeast vibe and what does it have to do with government?

Anonymous said...

Sent you a message earlier today

LUPLOR said...

Jaime, why is everyone ignoring the fact the Sam did manage millions of dollars, developed budgets, etc in his capacity as an officer. Btw, if I'm not mistaken he was one of the planners for the last gulf war. That says a lot ! That's management of money, equipment and personnel.

I don't live in his district so that's not a factor. I happen to like the Haggertys but feel that Sam is more qualified. His demeanor, to me, shows he is in to win. I don't expect that to interfere with what's best for the district and city. He obviously is more concerned for developing the NE and saving El Paso's history/heritage. So what if Villa didn't pee on the corner. Why can't we have our version of a "china

Anonymous said...

continued. For some reason computer sent comments on its own. Anyway, why can't we have our own "China town"? That would more likely draw visitors than an arena. We are concerned about Mexican heritage to the point of building a museum to remember as though Mexicans are on the endangered species list. Why not just fix the area and save money.

What the heck is Cohen being saved for ? Is this another scram to wait and then say "beyond repair" so demolish? Cohen has a lot of potential and could be a great economic drive for the NE.

The Lion Star said...

Potential for what? Its a shit hole. If it wasn't a shit hole, people would still use it.

Its a waste. Get rid of that damn thing and start collecting taxes on it. Let business do something with it, why does everything have to be done by the tax payers?

As a veteran, I know for a fact that what you said about budgeting is simply inaccurate. You're allotted funds by congress and most of it is ear marked. You're absolutely NEVER accountable to voters for budgetary decisions in the military. As a board member Haggerty was - so I stand by my statement about budgetary decisions.

His demeanor isn't about wanting it bad, its about not being able to handle political pressure. A guy who has faced the working end of an AK-47 should be able to handle questions from a Times reporter. There really is no excuse for that one.

Anonymous said...

Jaime, are you going to post the response about military budget/fiduciary responsibilities. Normally you post within 2 hours.
Thank you.

The Lion Star said...

Calm down, I was busy.

Never is someone in uniform ever accountable directly to tax payers.

Not ever.

Totally different ball game when you have to raise and lower taxes, make cuts, etc.

That's never done with the military. By design.

Completely different skill set.

Anonymous said...

I always stay calm. Not accountable to taxpayers ? Officers are appointed by an act of Congress and the people are Congress. you are correct that officers don't tax anyone but they can ask for increases in funds which can lead to higher taxpayers. They do manage and are accountable for every. penny,property and people.

That's another issue.

As for Cohen, I'm open to either do something with it or demolish and something with it. Something than can improve the NE. It's past due for a decision, they should poop or get off the pot.

I can't speak for Sam, but I really doubt that he is so stressed that it's affecting his demeanor. Only he can answer to why he hung up. I really doubt he was afraid, probably annoyed as he has other things to do. But, I get your point.

Thanks for being open enough to post all comments.

Anyway, good luck to both.

Anonymous said...

He hung up because he was annoyed because he had other things to do? Are you serious??? Do you know how ludicrous you sound. He hung up because he was caught cheating and had no way of answering the question. He is NOT qualified. We do not need another Lemon Limon on Council.

Anonymous said...

Unless one can read minds, it's called speculation. I don't know why he hung up, did you talk with him ? Probably not so you are guessing. Oh well, nothing like judging without any proof and later determine the info was circumstantial.

He's very qualified whether you like it or not.

The Lion Star said...

Just not the most qualified in this election cycle.