ELECTION BLOG: Dallas Democrats Take In the Loss

By Emily Kogan
ekogan@smu.edu

The tone at the Democratic watch party was much different than it was in 2008. There was no hype. They were just hoping to hang on to their majorities in the House and the Senate.

The mood of the night could have been from the heavy rain in Dallas or it could have reflected the results of the midterm elections for the Democratic Party as a whole.

The race for Texas’ Governor had been tight between Rick Perry and Bill White until the very end. Perry’s anti-Washington message was an appeal to voters. Even after the early votes came in, Registered Democrat Jim White still thought anything could happen.

“I think everyone has a chance until it’s over,” White said. And when asked for his reaction after Perry was declared the winner White said, “If there wasn’t so much slander I think he would have stood a better chance.”

A young Democrat with the ironic name of Rick Perry was not excited when Perry was voted in for another term.

“I think it was time for him to go,” Perry said. “I think it was time for new leadership. Im sad, I’m disappointed.”

Edgar Negron, a member of the Dallas Association of Young Immigrants, was passionate about getting his vote in on November 2nd. He had a feeling White would not be the winner of last night’s election but still moved his scheduled flight home from New York up a day to go out and vote.

“It’s a matter of getting our point across,” said Negron.

VIDEO: Fact Checking Political TV Ad Campaigns

Video by Sarah Bray
sabray@smu.edu

Did this year’s political campaign ads leave you a little confused? SMU-TV’s Sarah Bray talks about where you can go to learn more about political candidates.

Fact Checking Political TV Ad Campaigns from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

Election Blog: Watkins Squeaks by in Dallas County District Attorney Race

11:30 p.m.
By Lisa Collins

Votes were neck and neck in the race for Dallas County district attorney between Democratic incumbent Craig Watkins and Republican challenger Danny Clancy, with Watkins trailing just behind Clancy for most of the night.

However, with more and more votes pouring in for Watkins hours after the polls had closed, it appeared that Watkins had surged to the lead to maintain his position. With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Watkins led by more than 5,000 votes (check page 16).

Four years ago, Watkins became the first African-American elected to the position of criminal district attorney in Texas. Throughout his service as DA he has had a 99.4 percent felony conviction rate.

He is best known for his efforts to free those wrongfully convicted of crimes. In July 2007, he established the Conviction Integrity Unit, which oversees the post-conviction review of cases using DNA evidence in partnership with the Innocence Project of Texas. Watkins spoke on campus at SMU in November of 2008 as part of a panel discussion on the subject.

To date, there have been 42 DNA based exonerations in the state of Texas. 20 of those have been in Dallas County, which outnumbers every other county by far.

Daily Mustang managing editor Aida Ahmed, reporting from the Democratic watch party at American Airlines Center, said 14 of the men who have been exonerated by the Conviction Integrity Unit took the stage Tuesday night to personally thank Watkins for his efforts.

Watkins’ opponent Danny Clancy, who was endorsed by the Dallas Morning News, has served as Dallas County Judge, Dallas County Assistant District Attorney, and private attorney.

The Dallas Morning News wrote in its endorsement of Clancy that Watkins “has become too political, too vindictive, and too stubborn to be effective” and that his “credibility has taken a significant hit, as his shifting stories and evolving explanations simply didn’t square.”

Though the election was close, voters seemed to say that Watkins’s credibility is intact and that his efforts have earned him another term.

Election Blog VIDEO: Check In With Dallas Watch Parties

10:48 p.m. – Democrat Watch Party at American Airlines Center and Republican Watch Party at the Hotel Palomar
Video by Josh Parr

Josh Parr checks in with the Dallas Republican and Democrat watch parties and provides some historical context.

Dallas County parties watch poll results from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

Election Blog: On a Night of Losses, Dallas Democrats Still Have Reason to Celebrate

10:17 p.m. – Democrat Watch Party at American Airlines Center
Posted by Lisa Collins

Daily Mustang managing editor Aida Ahmed reports from the Dallas County Democratic watch party at American Airlines Center that Democrats have hardly lost all hope.

State Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas) congratulated candidates Clay Jenkins and Elba Garcia, who he said appear poised to give Democrats control of the Dallas County Commissioners Court. He also said that despite a tough national night for Democrats, the local party still has much to celebrate.

“At the end of the night, Dallas will still be a Democratic county,” West said.

U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Dallas), who handily won re-election despite a scandal revealing that she awarded scholarships to her relatives, left the building without addressing the crowd. She did, however, shake hands with supporters and briefly addressed the media.

Election Blog VIDEO: Rick Perry (the Democrat) Says He’s ‘Sad’ Gov. Perry Re-elected

10:06 p.m. – Democrat Watch Party at American Airlines Center
Video by Emily Kogan

A man with the same name as Gov. Rick Perry shared his disappointment with the results from the Texas governor’s race.

Rick Perry Talks Rick Perry from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

Burst the Bubble Blog: Wet/Dry Unofficial Results Pour In

9:50 p.m.
By Elizabeth Lowe

This year’s midterm election marks a pivotal point in Dallas history: the day Dallas went “Wet.”

Dallas voters were asked to vote for or against Wet/Dry Propositions 1 and 2 during their time at the polls on Nov. 2. The Dallas Morning News’ City Hall Blog gave a great rundown of the Wet/Dry propositions on the ballots. Although the wording on the ballot seemed a bit confusing, the people of Dallas made their voice heard on alcohol sales.

As of 9:30 p.m., unofficial election results from the City of Dallas show a “Wet”-favored majority.

At this time 66 percent of voters, with 131 of 399 precincts reporting, support Proposition 1. This first part of the Wet/Dry Proposition allows for the sale of beer and wine at convenience and grocery stores. Proposition 2 is showing even more definitive results in the City of Dallas with 72 percent of voters “FOR” the legal sale of mixed drinks in restaurants. This would eliminate the “drinking club” cards throughout the city, allowing for open service to anyone of age.

So what about University Park? The historical and often conservative city in the midst of Dallas has been dry since Prohibition. But Mustangs (of age) rejoice! It seems U.P. will also be getting “Wet” as a result of the Nov. 2 elections.

Although the results are unofficial at this time, the voters of U.P. show a similar support for Propositions 1 and 2. With four out of nine precincts reporting results, about 60 percent of voters are “FOR” both Propositions.

The Dallas Observer has already called the Wet/Dry election results with the online headline: “Dallas Is Getting Wet, And It Ain’t The Rain”

By midnight tonight will “Dry” merely be a term of Dallas’ past? Early election results seem to say so.
As some states like California move toward legalizing marijuana, the residents of Dallas, TX just want to drink- and buy -their libations freely as legal adults.

Election Blog: Major Newspapers Call Perry Winner

9:11 p.m. – Texas Newsrooms Call Gubernatorial Race
Report from Editorial Staff

Several major newspapers in Texas are already calling the gubernatorial election in Texas. According to The Dallas Morning News Republican Governor Rick Perry has won another term as Texas governor defeating Democrat Bill White. The DMN announcement comes as 16 percent of the precincts reporting shows Perry with 57 percent to White’s 41 percent.

Austin American Statesman announces Perry has won his re-election campaign citing the Associated Press who had already called the race. In early voting with about 1.4 million votes in, Perry was ahead of White 59 percent to 38 percent.

The Houston Chronicle has also announced that Perry has won reelection. According to the papers’ live blog the win, which is expected to be in double digits may lead to a presidential run for Perry.

Election Blog: Dallas GOP Gathers at Hotel Palomar

For full election night coverage, including reports from the Democratic watch party, check our Election Blog.

10:07 p.m. – Local GOPs Continue To Join The Palomar Celebration
Report from Hayley Nelson

Although Democrat Watch Parties around town are winding down, the GOP celebration at Hotel Palomar continues to heat up. Party goers are glued to Fox News and other local news sites on the main screens watching Rick Perry’s acceptance speech.

The tone of the room is relaxed and enthusiastic as everyone mingles and confidently watches Republicans take the lead.

Local GOPs are packing the Palomar to watch Republicans take the lead in the 2010 midterms. (PHOTO BY HAYLEY NELSON / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

9:02 p.m. – Reactions as Election Results Revealed
Report from Hayley Nelson

Robert Clements, a member of the SMU College Republicans, is at Hotel Palomar tonight celebrating several Republican midterm victories.

As several media outlets declare Rick Perry the re-elected Governor of Texas, Clements said, “We are here today for change.” Clements continued to describe the tone of the room saying it “is full of optimism because we are seeing our work for the campaign paid off.”

The celebration continues as Bill White concedes to Rick Perry from Houston, TX.

7:51 p.m. – GOP Watch Party at Hotel Palomar
Report from Hayley Nelson

Despite the storm, hopeful Republicans are piling into the upstairs ballroom at the Hotel Palomar for the Dallas County Republican Party election watch party. They are serving turkey, dinner rolls, chicken fingers, and cheesy mashed potatoes complete with a cash bar and a live band, Anchor Rose.

U.S. Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Plano) just gave a short victory speech thanking his supporters.

“The Lone Star State will keep taxes low and grow the economy,” Johnson said. “You can rest assured I’ll support you in the United States Congress.” The crowd cheered in approval.

(PHOTO BY HAYLEY NELSON / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

Election Blog VIDEO: Dallas Democrat Reacts to Governor Race Results

9:12 p.m. – Democrat Watch Party at American Airlines Center
Video by Kwynn Kirkhuff

Chris Mergerson, an attendee of the Dallas Democrat Watch Party expresses disappointment regarding the governor election results.

Video: Dallas Democrat Reacts to Governor Race Results from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.