Ciro Rodriguez’s strong showing in last month’s U.S. District 23 Democratic primary might have surprised some observers, but it didn’t shock anyone in the camp of Republican Congressman Francisco “Quico” Canseco.
Going into the primary campaign, Canseco’s team looked at all the endorsements racked up by Alpine-based state Rep. Pete Gallego and assumed that Gallego would be their opponent in this year’s general election. In April, however, the Canseco campaign funded an internal poll that found Rodriguez running considerably stronger than Gallego, and they began to revise their thinking, according to a source close to the Canseco campaign. (Rodriguez and Gallego will face each other in the July 31 Democratic primary runoff.)
Canseco handled Rodriguez fairly easily in the 2010 general election, but that was a GOP tsunami year, and the district’s new boundary lines offer some encouragement to Rodriguez (namely the addition of Frio County, a longtime Rodriguez stronghold). Word from the Canseco campaign is that the freshman Republican rep is focusing squarely on West Texas, an area in which he’s never performed well, to put it mildly.