by Crystal Gottfried
Democratic Party faithful gathered at Canyon Lake Ranch resort last Saturday to support their candidates and to discuss the changes they hope to see at the federal, state and local levels.
Texas’ U.S. District 21 Representative Democratic hopeful John Courage told guests that politics are “a little like a fairy tale sometimes.”
“I feel like Dorothy in Oz – Bush needs a brain, Cheney needs a heart and Washington needs Courage,” he said.
Courage said that if he takes the place of Republican incumbent Lamar Smith, he will work to simplify Medicare, improve environmental policies and encourage alternative energy sources like wind power.
“I’m looking forward to the day when Democrats will be better represented in Congress,” he said.
Democratic candidate for Texas lieutenant governor Maria Luisa Alvarado hopes to unseat Republican incumbent David Dewhurst.
“If I am elected, I would come in with a clean slate and no allegiances with either party; just the people,” she said. “I want both parties to have a fair chance to be heard.”
Kathi Thomas, Democratic candidate for the Texas Senate’s District 25 trying to unseat Republican incumbent Jeff Wentworth, said that she’s a “ticked-off mom.”
A former teacher, Thomas said that preserving natural resources, improving education and making insurance more accessible are the universal goals for everyone in government. She told attendees that she would like to bring more funding to vocational education and get teachers involved in education reform.
“Teachers know a lot more than legislators think,” she said.
Democratic candidate Barbara Ann Radnofsky is seeking Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison’s U.S. Senate seat. She believes that many Republicans are beginning to move toward the Democratic way of thinking about health care and international trade. She said that people from both parties agree that the U.S. has become too dependent on the Middle East for fuel and China because of outsourcing.
“What we need is a minimum wage that keeps workers here in good spirit,” she said.
Democrat Hank Gilbert, who is running for Texas agricultural commissioner against Republican Todd Staples, told the group that that he is also against the Trans-Texas Corridor.
“Texas needs to refocus on domestic products instead of imported foods,” he said.
“I want to stimulate the Texas agriculture agency through programs that get the young people back into agriculture. My goal is to represent and encourage Texas agriculture.”