Sam Merten
Lowell Cannaday and his wife Rose, who was choked up during her hubby’s speech

GOP Kisses Sheriff’s Race Goodbye

After John Carona, Dan Branch, Angie Chen Button and Pete Sessions celebrated the handful of victories by the Republican Party in Dallas County, Lowell Cannaday -- who I had been trying to track down all night -- took the stage to thank his supporters. Cannaday was more vibrant in defeat than he had been during the campaign, as his wife fought back tears beside him. “Dallas County voters have spoken,” he said, before trotting up Scott Evans, president of the Dallas County Sheriff’s Association, who promptly tossed Sheriff Valdez under the bus.

Also unhappy was county chair Jonathan Neerman, who tells Unfair Park he’s surprised the Democrats didn’t work harder to replace her themselves. “It’s an embarrassment for Dallas County that Lupe Valdez got reelected. It’s an absolute embarrassment,” he says. “It’s not about partisanship. As a taxpayer of Dallas County, I’m embarrassed that’s she has been reelected.”

Though he admits the GOP screwed itself two years ago, he says the blame for this year’s ass-kicking falls squarely on one person. “It wasn’t that we fumbled the ball. It wasn’t that our guys let down their guard,” he says. “It just was a year that Obama was able to get so much going out of so many enthusiastic people, and they just got more votes than we did.”

He says the party has some “soul searching” to do, and it needs to go back to its core principles and reach out to younger voters and minorities.

Things are thinning out here, but two people are glued to the TV watching Obama’s speech. “That should be Sarah Palin up there right now,” one says. Yikes. --Sam Merten

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