I spoke with an official of the Republican Party today who was distraught that a highly qualified and experienced Latino in yesterday's runoff was defeated by an Anglo who had far less experience and spent no money campaigning. It appears voters voted for the ethnicity of the last names, not the qualifications of the candidates.
Several years ago, Judge Xavier Rodriguez of Abiding Presence Lutheran Church faced the same fate when a relatively unknown candidate with an Anglo last name defeated him in a Republican primary.
The church also faces racial discrimination in elections. One year when I chaired a synod elections committee, we were told to nominate two candidates for each position so voters would have a choice. As you might guess, candidates with names like Schultz won every election and candidates with names like Gomez were all defeated. In order to get qualified Latinos in positions of responsibility, we had to find ways other than competitive elections to select them.
How might race be less of a factor in all elections?