The theme of the night for Texas Democrats, if there is one, might be frustration at the top of the ballot while making great strides at the bottom. It should be noted that Texans have seen the end of one of the Texas Democratic Party’s great under-the-radar bête noires: Harris County County Clerk Stan Stanart.
Stanart runs elections in Harris, the country’s third-most populous county, which has a greater population than more than 25 states. Stanart was notable for two reasons: He was an inveterate tea party Republican, who was often seen at local GOP events, which may have corresponded with the fact that Stanart never seemed especially thrilled about the prospect of helping people vote.
In fact, he seemed downright frightened of it. For months, his campaign website warned Texans of the prospect that George Soros would take “control” of Harris County elections. “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is good men to do nothing,” he warned.
But Stanart was quite fond of doing nothing, because he was also very bad at his job. It became a ritual on election night for the Texas political community to complain about Stanart — his bizarre mishaps during the day, and the clerk office’s slow-as-molasses counting at night. #FireStanStanart, they’d tweet. There were memes.
Well, Stanart has been fired, and a Democrat, Diane Trautman, now is in charge of administering the voting rolls for 4.7 million Texans. Flipping Harris County is a significant development that will give Democrats a sturdy platform to run statewide. Expect the howling about voter fraud to start the second his replacement takes office.