BYE BYE BONILLA… Yesterday’s news that Henry Bonilla lost his runoff in TX-23 to Democrat Ciro Rodriguez was surprising in one sense — Bonilla had a couple of million dollars at his disposal, while Rodriguez has never inspired much confidence among Dems as a campaigner. But apart from Bonilla’s sizeable financial advatange, all the other signs indicated that he was in real trouble.
One problem for Bonilla was that he was a major beneficiary of Tom DeLay’s redistricting scheme, which moved Latino voters out of Bonilla’s district to make way for more white ones. (Although Bonilla was the GOP’s only Mexican-American representative, it’s rarely noted that he’s never actually commanded real Hispanic support.) The Supreme Court didn’t like that idea, and ordered Texas courts to put the Latino voters back. Before the election, it seemed that Bonilla’s hard line on illegal immigration — he equated it with terrorism — might have cost him with his newly restored (and already irritated) Hispanic constituents. Today, Hotline concludes that stance is probably what finished Bonilla off.