Victoria politicos meet in party conventions

Melissa Crowe By Melissa Crowe

March 22, 2014 at 10 p.m.
Updated March 22, 2014 at 10:23 p.m.

Without the buzz of a presidential election, Democrats and Republicans are charting their course for the November polls.

Both parties met Saturday morning to nominate delegates and resolutions to bring forward to the state conventions.

The Republican State Convention is set for June 5-7 at the Forth Worth Convention Center; Democrats meet June 27 and 28 in Dallas.

Both parties are bolstering their numbers in preparation for the next redistricting, which comes in 2020, but in the short term, the Victoria County judge's race, governor's race and the congressional race are hot topics among the politically oriented.

Toni Marek, 35, of Victoria, attended the 9 a.m. Victoria County Republican convention hosted downtown at the party headquarters. She became active with the conventions in 2008.

"I just wanted to be more involved in politics," Marek, a Victoria College student, said. "I think it's important for young people to get involved."

Both candidates for the Victoria congressional seat were in town Saturday - Republican incumbent Blake Farenthold and Democratic challenger Wesley Reed. Farenthold and Reed are looking to reach out to young voters and inspire their constituents to reach out to their neighbors.

"We've got to make it cool to be a Republican," Farenthold said.

But in a red state and a county that's more purple than blue, Farenthold could be preaching to the choir.

Reed is hopeful participation in his party will grow. He said people wanting to make a difference need to get active.

"You can't stay home if you want to affect change," he said. "We're trying to reach out to everybody."

The parties are planning calling parties, block walks and two-minute elevator speeches for witnessing to potential voters.

Democratic Party Chairman Cris Gonzalez said the county is partnering with Battleground Texas to turn Texas blue.

"The numbers tell us that Victoria County is democratic," he said, noting the county judge and county treasurer were both voted in as Democrats. "We need to make sure we get those Democrats out to vote."

The party has also organized a Young Democrats Club open to anyone between the ages of 14 and 40.

Republicans are continuing to gather volunteers to set up signs, get out the vote and spread the word about candidates and the platform.

Republican Party Chairman Michael Cloud said in an email that the two areas for which most resolutions passed were limiting the expanse of government power and educating children. The party elected the maximum allotment of 41 delegates to represent the county at the state convention.

"It's always great to see local citizens involved in the political process at the grass-roots level," Cloud said.



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