North Texas Daily

As Texas governor race looms, political parties keep working

As Texas governor race looms, political parties keep working

As Texas governor race looms, political parties keep working
January 26
12:27 2017

James Norman | Staff Writer

Despite the end of the 2016 election, political parties in Denton have no time for rest. They’ve all set their eyes and efforts on garnering support for the 2018 Texas Governor’s race.

“The main effort [for the next race] starts immediately upon an election happening,” chairperson for the Denton Democrats Phyllis Wolper said. “In many cases, you’ve already talked and met with candidates. It’s never too early.”

Running a political party, especially in a county with a safe Republican majority, is always about growing their followers. Officials have no time to get comfortable.

“It has to be [a year-round process],” chairperson for the Denton County Republican party Lisa Hendrickson said. “Comfort breeds laziness, and when you get comfortable, you lose territory you used to have.”

But Losing territory hasn’t been an issue for the Republicans in Denton. Hendrickson said after the 2016 results, she’s more confident than ever of the direction her party is going. Hendrickson said that her party has not lost a seat to the Democrats in a decade, but that it is necessary to continue working.

Wolper’s hopes to turn Denton blue were dashed on Nov. 8 when about 35 percent of registered voters voted straight Democrat to the 63 percent of Republicans that did the same. He acknowledged that while there was a lot of disappointment in the results of 2016, it also presented a challenge of where to go from here.

And regardless of the loss, Wolper sees potential in the amount of new people it brought out to participate.

“I’ve had dozens and dozens of emails and messages from people saying, ‘I’ve always voted, but I’ve never done anything else,’” Wolper said. “It’s time for me to be a good citizen.’”

Wolper said her party is doing this by targeting new areas with special efforts and focus to get support.

“Flower Mound, Carrollton, all of our major metropolitan cities with a special interest in where we lack representation,” Wolper said.

James Felber, the Denton Libertarian party’s chairperson, was a little more frustrated with the results than the major parties. The party received 1.47 percent of straight ticket votes, and the Libertarian candidate, former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, received just 3.88 percent of the county’s vote.

“[The Libertarian party] didn’t perform as well as I expected,” Felber said. “Considering that both Hillary and Trump were very unpopular candidates.”

Felber added that while their party’s candidate for the railroad commission, Mark Miller, only received 5 percent of the vote in the general election, he was by far the most qualified person in the race.

“He was endorsed by all the major newspapers,” Felber said. “And you know, basically the Republican person won in a landslide and that is just frustrating.”

Felber said he truly believes there is a monopoly created by the Republicans and Democrats.

Moving from the previous race, each party has already created plans for what’s next. Wolper, for example, said there is a constant process of fundraisers and meetings to “keep the lights on.”

“We have set fundraisers we have set every year,” Wolper said. “We have certain campaigns to sign up sustaining membership, then you have your special fundraising for campaigns and for outreach.”

The Democrats’ next fundraiser will be on Feb. 4 at the Appleton Arts Center. Wolper said she expects speakers from state government. There will also be music and chili.

The Republicans have a similar strategy in regards to outreach.

Their most recent event was an inauguration watch party at headquarters in Washington, D.C. And their next big fundraiser is the Lincoln-Reagan dinner at the D-FW Hyatt Regency on March 4.

While Felber’s party hasn’t met yet to discuss their 2017 goals, there is a meeting scheduled for February, and they have a few people ready to run for “certain positions.” He also said the Libertarians are inviting anyone who has good ideas who don’t feel like they have a home in the major parties.

The Denton County Green party could not be reached for comment. They held a meeting Jan. 14 to discuss their goals for the upcoming year. According to their agenda, the meeting consisted of introducing newcomers, preparing for upcoming events (such as the women’s march), as well as helping prepare their members to effectively lobby their officials with written letters, phone calls and “in-person meetings.”

Though Denton Republicans may have won the most recent election, they’re working to secure their grasp on the county.

“Our goal is to make sure that even though we won, we’re trying to keep boots on the ground all over Denton County,” Hendrickson said. “Just because the election is over, doesn’t mean you pick up your toys and go home.”

Featured Image: File Photo

About Author

North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily is the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas, proudly serving UNT and the Denton community since 1916.

Related Articles


No Comments Yet!

There are no comments at the moment, do you want to add one?

Write a comment

Write a Comment

The Roundup

<script id="mcjs">!function(c,h,i,m,p){m=c.createElement(h),p=c.getElementsByTagName(h)[0],m.async=1,m.src=i,p.parentNode.insertBefore(m,p)}(document,"script","");</script>

Search Bar

Sidebar Thumbnails Ad

Twitter Feed

North Texas Daily @ntdaily
ICYMI: Football ends non-conference play with a loss📝: @justanotherijcRead more:
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
THE DOSE: ‘Pearl’ proves the next great horror franchise has the 'X' factor📝: @OberkromJaden 🖼️: Allie GarzaRead more:
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
NEWS: IDEA’s speaker series begins with John Quiñones📝: @RealGioDel 📸: Charles FarmerRead more:
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
SPORTS: Women's golf teeing off fall campaign with high expectations📝: @dylanfredericks 📸: Marco BarreraRead more:
h J R

Sidebar Bottom Block Ad

Flytedesk Ad