• Yes, that was an impressive performance by Lupe Valdez in winning the sheriff’s race. She only ran about 35,000 votes behind Barack Obama in Dallas County, and she apparently got a lot of Republican and independent votes in the process. There were 289,000 straight party Democratic ballots, and Valdez got 388,000 votes. What does this mean? A lot of people think she has the jail problems under control.

 • I noted last week how much fun the Democratic primary for county judge will be in two years given the results on Nov. 4. I’m not sure the Republicans will have quite so much fun. If Valdez can get one-quarter of her votes from non-Democratic voters, imagine how many votes a more respected Democratic candidate can get. By the way, one of the names being floated around as a possible GOP judge candidate is former Lakewood city councilman and erstwhile mayoral candidate Gary Griffith.

• My favorite number from the election, from precinct 1207 in Highland Park (voting was at  Robert Hyer elementary on Caruth). George Bush got 82 percent of the vote there in 2004, with 952 votes cast. In this election, John McCain ran behind Bush by .7 of a point, with 2,604 votes cast. I don’t know that the .7 of a point is significant, but that 530 people voted for Obama in one of the most GOP precincts in the country is.

• Finally, don’t forget to enter the Guess how Siegel voted contest. The winner gets $50 in restaurant gift certificates from The Grape, and we’ll throw in $20 for the entry that is the most wrong. The usual rules apply (no Advocate employees, volunteer bloggers can enter,
Wamre is the final judge, and he already has my vote summary in a sealed envelope in his office). Send your entries here. Deadline is 5 p.m. Nov. 12.