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Gomez rides East Austin base to victory
Wednesday, March 3, 2010 by Jacob Cottingham
Margaret Gomez won a fourth consecutive term as Travis County Precinct 4 Commissioner last night, besting her challenger, former City Council Member Raul Alvarez in a campaign that seemed to pit the old school versus the new. Gomez netted 53 percent of the vote to Alvarez’s 47 percent, beating him by nearly 400 votes.
Gomez didn’t take reelection for granted, and told In Fact Daily she had woken up Monday night at 2am unable to sleep because of her nervousness about the election the next day. Still, her experience in the
Alvarez began the night in the hole, with early voting returns putting him behind nearly 300 votes. Although he was counting on an Election Day surge of younger voters, he was unable to make up any ground with a more robust turnout. “It was a much bigger turnout, than we thought – 3,000 more votes. We knew there’d be more but we didn’t think it would be that kind of number,” he said. He said the campaign had met all of its goals and they had gone into Election Day stronger than any of his prior runs for office. He lamented, “… there’s some dynamic there that we have not yet identified that had an impact on our race.”
For her part, Gomez said that although Alvarez’s more contemporary message of environmentalism and planned community growth may have resonated with some. “When I come over here, they ask about jobs or their child needs a clinic… sometimes it’s like we’re worlds apart.”
Certainly the campaign party locations may have reflected the two realities of the precinct, with Alvarez holding his at the newly relocated and renovated El Sol y La Luna on downtown 6th Street and Gomez holding court in the legendary, ramshackle political dive Rabbits Lounge further East.
Gomez said that the campaign had opened her eyes up to the desires of some constituents who would like her to play a more vocal role on the
Alvarez seemed dismayed discussing the results, and after some “Monday morning quarterbacking” of the results said he will continue his active roles in several non-profit organizations as he sought to improve the future of the Hispanic community in
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