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Newsflash: Those who turn out to vote decide elections

Not part of the blob:

State Representative Mike Villarreal (D-San Antonio) has been named one of the top legislators by Texas Monthly.

In his fourth term, Villarreal is the first Bexar County lawmaker to make the Top 10 list since it began in 1973. He serves on the Ways and Means and State Affairs committees.

"Shunned by partisan Democrats and distrusted by partisan Republicans, he nonetheless found a way to be a major force in tax issues," reports Texas Monthly. "No Democrat did more to distance himself from the great blob of lawmakers from both parties who go through a session without distinction."

The list is in the magazine's July issue.

As goes the North Side, so goes SA:

Although mayoral candidate Julián Castro won more districts in the June 7 runoff, North-Side voters propelled challenger Phil Hardberger to a 52-to-48- percent victory.

According to Smart Growth's analysis of election results, Castro outpaced Hardberger 50,810 to 27,664 in Districts 1-7, but Hardberger crushed the two-term City Councilman by more than 25,000 votes in Districts 8, 9, and 10.

Castro's largest voter windfall came in District 5, where he beat the retired state judge by more than 6,800 votes, likely the result of efforts by Councilwoman Patti Radle, who campaigned heavily for Castro in her district.

Hardberger tapped into his wealthy North-Side base, squishing Castro, 38,001 to 11,855. District 9 Councilman Schubert, who placed third in the general election, endorsed Hardberger in the runoff, and the voters responded: Hardberger received 11,351 more votes than Castro in that area.

Kleenex please:

District 10 Councilman Chip Haass, who won a second term, said adios to Castro in a genuine, but unexpectedly tearful sendoff at the June 16 Council meeting.

"I speak of him as the smartest guy I know," said Haass, his voice cracking before an extended pause. "Very few people came out to support me and you did. You had to take hits for me and it's not your base. I wish I could've returned the favor.

"You've got such a bright future," Haass continued, dabbing his eyes with tissue. "Next time you take a step forward, call me. I want to be on that ride."

- Lisa Sorg

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