Still Sorting Things Out In South Texas

From Holden:

It looks like DINO Henry Cuellar has defeated Ciro Rodriguez with 52% of the vote in US House District 28, but the race has yet to be called. As in 2004, there’s been some monkey business in Cuellar’s home county.

U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar held a narrow lead late Tuesday over former Rep. Ciro Rodriguez in a Democratic primary election marred by voting irregularities that mirrored problems when the two met two years ago.


It was dj vu for Rodriguez, who sent volunteers and lawyers to Laredo to monitor the vote count after officials there reported a “technical glitch” that kept ballots from being tabulated.

Rodriguez also complained about results in Zapata County, another Cuellar stronghold.

“We’ve got people in Zapata, and we’re sending people to Laredo, just in case,” he said. “We’re making sure everything is above board.”

With early votes in other counties reported, Rodriguez remained hopeful he could force Cuellar into an April 11 runoff: “We’re optimistic we pulled this off.”

Cuellar held a slim lead over Rodriguez with early votes in Webb County counted.

Officials still were counting Tuesday’s ballots, and results of the election weren’t expected to be final until today.


In San Antonio, United Steelworkers of America volunteers heckled Cuellar, 50, when he showed up at an East Side polling place to troll for last-minute votes.

“San Antonio needs a Democrat, not a Laredo Republican,” shouted Peter Kaval of Pittsburgh, a steelworker who spent three weeks in San Antonio to help Rodriguez reclaim the seat he lost to Cuellar by 58 votes in 2004.

That election spurred allegations of voter fraud after recounts in Webb and Zapata counties overturned Rodriguez’s initial victory.

Rodriguez lost his legal challenge to the recounts.

Problems were again reported Tuesday in Webb County, where computerized voting equipment wasn’t programmed correctly, said Oscar Villarreal, the Webb County elections administrator.

“Webb seems to be up to its usual games,” said Oscar Sanchez, Rodriguez campaign spokesman.