Friday, May 12, 2017
Election Analysis: D4
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.
Posted by The Lion Star at 10:46 AM