Cheering filled the large crowd as local and state Democratic OParty candidates called for Texas to turn blue during Sunday’s democratic rally at Huntsville High School.
The rally was coordinated by the Walker County Democrats in conjunction with Battleground Texas, Bearkat Democrats and the NAACP to gain support for their party in the upcoming elections.
The candidates spoke on key issues in this election including education and resource allocation while stressing the importance of voting.
In a state where water can be scarce, Steve Brown, candidate for Texas railroad commissioner, highlighted the importance of protecting environmental resources and the value of talking with those consumers.
“When you stop talking to the general public, you sacrifice valuable resources like water, we need that water to survive,” Brown said “When you turn off the folks that matter and turn on to the industry, you never fix those problems.”
The events keynote speaker State Senator Leticia Van de Putte, candidate for lieutenant governor, echoed Brown’s call for change in how Texas’ water is allocated.
“Our state is a great plentiful state with wonderful natural resources and we shouldn’t have any community defined by water [in terms of] who has it and who doesn’t,” Van De Putte said. “We need to focus so that our water plans our solid and sustainable.”
Many of the candidates also spoke about education and called for a change in how much funds are allocated toward the department.
Sam Houston, candidate for Texas attorney general, pressed the importance of stopping the ‘unneeded’ funding for lawsuits against the government and instead putting that money back into the classrooms.
“Most people agree on one thing in our state, Republican and Democrat, we don’t fund our schools enough,” Houston said. “We need in invest in our future. We need to have the best schools in our nation. We have to get the dollars out of the courtroom and back into the classroom.”
Van de Putte called for a change in standardized testing in schools. She said that students need to be able to learn, not just “how to bubble in.”
“We have to return our schools back to our teachers,” Van de Putte said. “Our kids aren’t standardized and they shouldn’t be burdened with this system. Every single child in this state deserves to have a quality education in this state regardless of who they are.”
Other candidates included Cade S. Reece, candidate for Walker county justice of the peace in precinct 4, who spoke about staying true to the law and the people of Walker County. State Senate candidate Joel Shapiro talked about ending corporate corruption with candidates, while candidate for state comptroller Mike Collier spoke more about education and the excitement for the democratic ticket.
“In the beginning, they said democrats can never win. I never believed that for a second,” Collier said. Everywhere I go in the state, people are thrilled about Wendy or about Leticia or both. Mostly they are excited about this ticket.”
John Cook, candidate for land commissioner, stressed the need for voters to go to the polls and vote for the democratic ticket who he said represents them.
“It doesn’t take money to win an election, it takes votes,” Cook said. “Registered voters in the state outnumber the registered Republicans in the state. Republicans don’t vote Republicans to office in this state, Democrats who stay at home do.”
Cindy Blaylock, chairwoman of the Walker County Democratic Party, said that the goal of the event was to get a people excited for the parties’ platform.
“I think it went well,” Blaylock said. “I’m grateful the people were here to listen to all these wonderful candidates.”
President of the Bearkat Democrats Liz Turner said that the candidates motivated and inspired people.
“I think it is important to know what is at stake,” Turner said. “I think that the candidates did inform us what is at stake. They did a good job filling out the most important points of the issues.”
Early voting begins Oct. 20 and lasts until Oct. 31.
Texans who are not already registered to vote must do so before Oct. 6 to vote in the Nov. 4 elections.