What’s Next?

A day after the highest ranking Hispanic elected office holder in Harris County was defeated in Tuesday’s election, Sylvia Garcia says she’s not sure what she’s going to do next. Pat Hernandez has the story.

Local attorney Jack Morman, a Republican, was outspent by more than 40-to-1 in his race against Sylvia Garcia. The margin of victory was by about 3-thousand votes. Morman became the first challenger to unseat an incumbent Harris County Commissioner in almost 40-years.

“It wasn’t a dust mopping. It was a flat out sweep and we got caught up in it.”

Garcia says it wasn’t so much Governor Rick Perry as it was the national mood that she was caught up in.

“I said all along that there were three factors to consider in my race, and one was the national mood, whether or not that was going to slip to the local level, and obviously it appears that it does. The second one was the sort of anti-Spanish surname sentiment that I see that regrettably is going around the country, my last name does happen to be Garcia. And then the third factor has always been straight ticket voting. I think I lost due to straight ticket voting.”

Morman spent about 20-thousand dollars working part-time on his campaign. Garcia says she spent as much money as she did eight years ago. She surprised her staffers when she showed up at campaign headquarters with
two speeches.

“They said ,’Why do you have two?’ I said, ‘well, one’s my victory speech and one’s the concession.’ I visited with my family and prepared them, that this may happen because I was seeing that, we were reviewing the numbers daily for early voting, and I was concerned that if we didn’t close that gap, there was a possibility that we would lose.”

She was quick to congratulate Morman and was asked what advice she would give the man who has not said much.

“Advice for him? He should return my phone and start talking transition. It’s not an easy job. It’s a big job.”

KUHF’s attempts to get a comment from Morman have not been successful.

Before she became Harris County Commissioner in 2003, Garcia was involved in city politics as a councilmember and controller, and after she presided as municipal court judge. She says she’s leaving her options wide open.

“The old saying is, My momma didn’t raise a good fool. I mean, I’m not gonna not consider something. I will look at everything.”