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House District 64 race setting the example for clean campaigning

House District 64 race setting the example for clean campaigning

Courtesy Photo

House District 64 race setting the example for clean campaigning
June 13
16:10 2016

Matthew Reyna | Staff Writer

@bucko_rodgers

Those who watched the Republican presidential debates during the primary season know that politics can sometimes be blood sport.

“This guy’s a choke artist, and this guy’s a liar,” said Donald Trump of his opponents Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, at a Republican debate on February 26 that was viewed by millions of people.

But so far in Denton, the two candidates for Texas House District 64, Republican Lynn Stucky and Democrat Connor Flanagan, have resisted the nasty personal attacks that are sometimes the trademark of most state and national campaigns.

“People are tired of personal attacks. We have watched it over and over in the national politics,” Stucky said. “People want to know about the issues. They don’t care about the personal attacks.”

While both candidates will maintain they are more deserving of winning the election, they have not berated their opponent to make that point.

Denton, Texas 02/16/2016 Democratic candidate for the Texas House District 64, Connor Flanagan, debates his opponent, Paul Greco, at Dan's Silverleaf in Denton Tuesday night, February 16, 2016. Ranjani Groth/DRC

Denton, Texas 02/16/2016 – Democratic candidate for the Texas House District 64, Connor Flanagan, debates his opponent, Paul Greco, at Dan’s Silverleaf in Denton Tuesday night, February 16, 2016. Ranjani Groth/DRC

“I believe I am the most qualified for a variety of reasons,” Stucky said. “I have owned a business. I have created jobs. I have been immersed in this community for 33 years.”

Flanagan, a 22-year old UNT senior, shared the same confidence as his Republican opponent.

“I can actually make a good change in this district and state,” Flanagan said. “And I hope the people will see that come election day.”

Avoiding the jabs on each other’s character has actually fostered an amicable relationship between competitors.

“I think he’s a great guy – a very nice guy,” Flanagan said. “Every time I am at any event with him or any forum, he holds polite conversation, and we have great discussions.”

Stucky, a Sanger veterinarian, said his opponent deserves respect after dispatching Paul Greco in the Democratic primary on March 1.

Courtesy | Lynn Stucky

Courtesy | Lynn Stucky

“If you asked people about Connor Flanagan, if he would beat a 56 year old fireman, everybody would say he doesn’t have a chance,” Stucky said. “But he beat him. He’s a positive young man and he has the guts to step out there and do it.”

Stucky’s road to November’s contest with Flanagan wasn’t quite as amicable. He said personal attacks by then-opponent Rick Hagen during a rough and tumble Republican primary is a reason he does not condone ad hominem attacks.

During the primary, Hagen used social media to accuse Stucky of lying to the Dallas Morning News in a voter questionnaire and chastised him for not agreeing to a debate. Hagen also posted the link of a 2010 CBS-11 story that accused the veterinarian of prematurely euthanizing animals.

“These consultants do polling and those people will decide to attack and attack in a negative way, and unfortunately sometimes that works,” Stucky said. “But the people of Denton County are not going to take knee jerk advice from some fool who sent a negative flyer about his opponent.”

Stucky added he’s sometimes tempted to vote for the victims of negative campaigning.

When asked about the effect of having to share the Republican ticket with America’s most famous negative campaigner, Donald Trump, Stucky was unsure how it would affect him.

“Ask me on November 7th, we’ll see what he does,” Stucky said. “If Donald Trump can unite the Republican Party, it will help me. But if he continues to divide, it will not help me.”

Both candidates are hoping their positive campaigns will lead to good relationships when one of them begins their term in Austin.

“You find some common ground, and then you move the ball in the right direction,” Stucky said. “That’s the way to do it.”

Featured Visual: Courtesy

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