More than 100 people show at Crossroads Democratic Rally, Saturday

JR Ortega By JR Ortega

Aug. 21, 2010 at 3:21 a.m.

Gubernatorial candidate Bill White was the key attraction at a Democratic rally Saturday morning at the Officers Club and Garden at Victoria Airport.

Gubernatorial candidate Bill White was the key attraction at a Democratic rally Saturday morning at the Officers Club and Garden at Victoria Airport.

"I heard there were a few democrats here today," said lieutenant governor candidate Linda Chavez-Thompson.

The comment sparked a crowd of more than 100 people to erupt in cheers and applause at Saturday's first ever Crossroads democratic rally - a rally that brought several candidates running for state offices under one roof, including gubernatorial candidate Bill White.

Cars, some with "Texas Democrat" and "Bill White for Texas" bumper stickers, lined the roadway outside the Victoria Officer's Club and Garden.

Saturday's message was clear - the Crossroads matters and needs to vote for change.

"I've been a lifelong Democrat," said Jonathan Sheeran, a Victoria College political science major. "Any chance to get anything together with the Democratic party is just something I really want to be apart of."

This year, the 21-year-old was a delegate to the state convention and said he remembers the warm feeling he felt when he saw a sea of Bill White for Texas signs.

He felt the same feeling Saturday.

"We felt we were all apart of something great," he said. "I am OK with being a minority here if that means I can get that feeling again."

Also at the event were Texas Railroad Commissioner candidate Jeff Weems, Attorney General candidate Barbara Ann Radnofsky and Texas Land Commissioner candidate Hector Uribe.

Several local Democrats, like district attorney candidate Deborah Branch, were also at the event.

While issues with education, the workforce and Texas' several billion dollar deficit were discussed, getting the vote out and not forgetting the Crossroads is what was most important.

"They came here for us," said Branch after White's speech. "We want to make sure people come out and vote."

Christy Salinas and her brother Blake Salinas came out to support Bill White and think Victoria needs to get riled up like they did Saturday for the Nov. 2 election.

"It's really exciting to see so many people united and wanting the change," said Christy Salinas, 28. "It was really touching to hear all the personal stories and hear how their stories are like our stories. It's really neat to experience that."

Blake Salinas said he feels the same way his sister does.

One of the heated topics for the Victoria College and University of Houston-Victoria student is education.

"We're tired of Rick Perry and David Dewhurst running the TEA in the ground," he said.

The energy the Salinas' and others emitted was almost automatic, said Chavez-Thompson.

"Austin isn't listening to the everyday Texan. These people here are everyday Texans," she said, referring to people in the Crossroads.

As the campaign pushes forward, White admitted he needs the Crossroads help.

White asked residents to not get discouraged this election and to cast that vote.

"Leadership is finding common ground to move our state forward," he said.



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