December 11th is fast approaching, and the Republican Party has yet to field a candidate to challenge Robert “Bobby” Guerra for his Texas House of Representatives District 41 seat. Guerra, the incumbent, has irked out two victories against GOP opponents, one in 2014, the other in 2016.
Many political observers have determined that District 41 to be one of the most competitive offices for Republicans in the otherwise dominant Democratic Rio Grande Valley.
Guerra has seen diminishing returns in regards to his victory margins. In 2012, Guerra comfortably vanquished his Republican opponent, Miriam Martinez by 8,000 votes.
In the last two contest, Guerra experienced a bit more competitiveness from the GOP hopefuls.
In 2014, Guerra faced off against Elijah Casas during a mid-term election. Casas, an active member of Hidalgo County’s Young Republicans organization, was able to narrow Guerra’s percentage share of total votes to 57 percent, a 5 point decrease in share from 2012.
During the 2016 Presidential General Election, the contest was just as competitive as Guerra squared off with former educator, Hilda DeShazo.
DeShazo, who opposed the creation of a Hidalgo County Hospital District attempted to draw a clear contrast against Guerra, who was considered to be one of the hospital districts primary agents due to legislation he sponsored, which made the establishment of a hospital district possible.
The resistance against the hospital district proved fruitful for DeShazo, as she garnered substantial support from concerned tax payers. Guerra, meanwhile distanced himself from the unpopular measure, and even some of his supporters openly opposed the proposition, despite Guerra being one of the chief architects.
Feeling the pressure, the Guerra campaign issued mailers instructing citizens to vote “straight Democratic ticket” in hopes that the regions Democratic faithful would help carry him to victory. It ultimately proved fruitful for Guerra.
Despite Guerra’s victory, DeShazo was able to chip away an other percentage share from Guerra’s margin of victory, despite losing by nearly 6,000 votes.
Despite the set backs from Republican challengers, the cause may not be a total loss when looking at the numbers. Analyzing Guerra’s performance during all 3 of his contest reveals that he’s clearly vulnerable during the mid-terms.
If a Republican candidate can retain 60 percent of the voters DeShazo put up during 2016, the Republican candidate can very well defeat Guerra. Perhaps non other than DeShazo herself, could be the one to topple Guerra. Supporters of DeShazo, such as local watchdog Johnny Casey, have openly voiced their support in a potential District 41 rematch. DeShazo hasn’t yet commented on potentially entering the race.
If no GOP challenger arises, Guerra could very well have a hold on the seat all the way through the 2022 mid-terms, considering Presidential General Elections tend to give Democratic candidates an edge due to increase voter turn out. The next Presidential General Election is in 2020.
The deadline to file for 2018 G.E. elections is December 11 at 6 P.M.