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I I 89397 Postmaster: If undeliverable, send Form 3579 to The Texas Observer, 307 W. 7th St., Austin, Texas 78701 NI 0 74470 4 POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE MORALES’ ANALYSIS. While some observers see Victor Morales’ making the Democratic Party runoff as another. small victory for “anyone but the incumbent” or a “fresh face,” confusion and demographics might have been the most important factors in the Mesquite high school teacher’s winning 36 percent to veteran Dallas Congressman John Bryant’s 30. Bryant’s campaign will now spend some of its money trying to inform primary voters that Victor Morales is not Attorney General Dan Morales. But the election could be decided by a large turnout of Hispanic voters, drawn to the polls by runoffs in El Paso, San Antonio, the Lower Rio Grande Valley, and Bryant’s base in Dallaswhere pugilistic city politician Domingo Garcia faces his former college roommate Roberto Alonzo. LON TIME WAITING. Perhaps the third attempt will provide Democratic political organizer Lon Burnam of Fort Worth with the victory that has eluded him past six years. Burnam has already run twice against the House’s most senior member, Dolye Willis, who retired this year. The open seat drew six Democratic led in the runoff, winning 36 percent of the vote. Business establishment candidate Francisco Hernandez won 31 percent, but three other candidates in the race, Steve DeLe6n, Robert Ramirez and Paz Hernandez, have endorsed Burnam. Burnam has worked for consumer and environmental groups, including Texas Citizen Action and Texas Clean Water Action. OUT OF SIGHT, out of luck. Or so it seemed for Edinburg state Representative Eddie de la Garza, who was defeated in the Democratic primary by Juan Hinojosa. From 1981-1991, Hinojosa held the seat de la Garza now vacates. When Hinojosa left the House to run for the Senate seat now held by Eddie Lucio, he made way for de la Garzawho after two terms began to fade and just kept on fading. Hinojosa’s return, assuming he defeats Republican import-export agent Emilio Santos in what has been a strong Democratic district, is good news for progressives. Hinojosa was a quiet steady leader in the House, where he was a strong advocate of farmworkers rights, consumer protections, public health and services issues in colonias, and reasonable penal reform. HOLD THAT LINE. Former Border Patrol Sector Chief Silvestre Reyes took 42.5 percent of the vote in the Democratic Primary Race to replace retiring El Paso Congressman Ron Coleman. But some El Pasoans must think Reyes is running for the Border Patrol job he’s leaving, as he took his border blockade “Hold the Line” slogan and applied it to a number of issues he intends to hold the line on. Reyes also appeared to be running against Mexico instead of Coleman aid Jose Luis Sanchez who won 28.2 percent of the votewhen he appeared in TV campaign ads wearing a tuxedo and standing by the river with Juarez yet again as his backdrop. His campaign was also plagued by gaffes, such as his telling representatives of teachers’ professional organizations that he supported the abolition of the federal Department of Education, then denying he said it, then saying he had taken a position against the creation of a Department of Education which seemed a little late as the agency has existed since 1980. NRA TAKE AIM. Even before Bill White signed on as State Democratic Party Chair earlier this year, he was arguing that his party had to get serious about reclaiming the Ninth Congressional seat Steve Stockman and the NRA won from Jack Brooks in 1994. Stockman has been an embarrassmentconsider, for example, his office’s odd communications with militia groups concerning the Oklahoma City bombingand now Democrats are ready to seize the moment. Nick Lampson, who served for years as the Jefferson County tax assessor, is well-known in the district, wellestablished in the Democratic party, and won 69 percent of the vote in a field of five opponents. He has as good a chance as the party provides for reclaiming the seat for Democrats. FONTENOT FOOTNOTE. In the Second District, where Democrat Charlie Wilson is retiring, the Republican heir-apparent was Donna Peterson, who has twice run solid campaigns against Wilson. Peterson, a military academy graduate and reserve helicopter pilot, thought she was a conservativeuntil Christian right candidate Brian Babin showed up. The two are in a runoff to face Jim Turnera Crockett lawyer who left his Texas Senate seat to run for Congress. Turner has high name-identification and is respected in the district. Peterson will probably prevail but could be damaged goods after a month of Babin’s Biblical criticism. In the Dallas/East Texas district that John Bryant leaves to run for the Senate, Dallas Democratic party leader and lawyer John Pouland begins a tight race with Pete Sessions, a lawyer and the son of former FBI director William Sessions. The other East Texas seat Democrats hope to hold was vacated by Jim Chapman, who came in third in the U.S. Senate primary race. Democrat Jo Ann Howard faces Max Sandlin in a runoff, and Republican Dennis Boerner faces Ed Merritt. And in the race to fill Jack Fields’ vacant seat in Houston, Gene Fontenot, an antiabortion-rights millionaire physician who bankrolled his own failed race in another Houston district two years ago, is back this time leading business Republican state rep Kevin Brady into the runoff by a 36-14 point spread. The winner will be the favorite in a November race against Democrat C. J. Newman. The seat was last held by a Democrat in 1980, when Fields defeated Bob Eckhardt. 24 APRIL 5, 1996