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2030 ELECTION WRAP-UP \(blow it again? VIVA LOS RE UBLICANOS By Bob Moser N A GRIM ELECTION NIGHT 20 YEARS ago, as Texas Democrats mourned and puzzled over their largest statewide losses in history, one of the state representatives who’d lost her seat in the Tea Party landslide detected one small silver lining: “At least we can say with confidence that things can only get better from here. Right?” Well, sort of. In the two volatile decades following their historic nadir of 2010, Texas Democrats’ fortunes have indeed improved, but without ever achieving true parity with a Republican Party that has only once relinquished control of the state House since 2002and without nailing down the decisive bloc of loyal Latino voters that the Democrats had long counted on. Last night’s emphatic re-elections of Texas’ leading “Neuvo Republicanos,” Gov. Eva Guzman and U.S. Sen George P. Bush, dealt yet another blow to the ever-hopeful, perpetually disappointed Democrats. And this one stung far more than 2010: For the first time, a majority of non-Anglo Texansnearly 56 percent, according to initial exit pollsrejected the minority party in favor of the GOP. Meanwhile, Texas Democrats won a bitter consolation prize: They carried the ever-diminishing Anglo vote, now less than 35 percent of the total, for the first time in more than half a century. “They’re supposed to have a ‘natural advantage’ among Latinos, right?” shouted a jubilant Lt. Gov. Larry Gonzales to more than 6,000 Republicanos who’d gathered on a brisk night for a victory party in San Antonio’s Alamo Square. “Let me tell you: If this is unnatural, I can get used to it!” Shortly after Bush and Guzman received early concession calls just after 8 p.m. from the vanquished Democrats at the top of the ticket, former Congressman Patrick Rose and House Minority Leader Mike Villarreal, the Viva Republicanos! shindig got an extra jolt of energy with a virtual appearance by former President Marco Rubio, whose three campaign swings through the Lone Star State this summer and fall were credited with bolstering the Republicans’ innovative grassroots efforts and spurring a record non-Anglo turnout. 16 1 THE TEXAS OBSERVER