When a candidate avoids the public and will not answer questions from the people, they do not deserve the honor of serving the people. Several weeks ago, we decided to partner with Newstalk 1230 to bring McLennan County a much needed primary debate between three highly anticipated races, including Texas House of Representatives District 56, McLennan County Sheriff and the Republican Party County Chairman.
Immediately, we heard positive response from Parnell McNamara and Randy Plemons, Candidates for McLennan County Sheriff. Within a day or two, we had confirmation from Doc Anderson, Incumbent, District 56 and shortly after, his challenger, Chris DeCluitt agreed to debate.
Ralph Patterson, Candidate for Republican Chairman of McLennan County also agree to participate, leaving one last hold-out… current County Chairman, Joe B. Hinton. Hinton, who has been using the McLennan County Republican Club to grandstand and push his message unopposed, has yet to respond. He was notified in the same email that went out to all candidates.
Why does he not want to debate Ralph Patterson? What is he afraid of? Maybe he thinks he has this in the bag, and just doesn’t want to make a critical mistake? Or maybe he realizes he can’t face Ralph Patterson. Squaring off with Patterson in a one-on-one would create the environment where Hinton would have to answer for his actions, which he obviously feels he does not need to subject himself to.
Like the Democrat, Liberal who’s afraid to attend a Town Hall meeting, and possibly face the music of his actions, Hinton is in hiding. He was invited to speak at the McLennan County Republican Women’s Club meeting last month and failed to appear. But, when you never attend their meetings in the first place, it’s tough to show your face and ask for support.
Hinton is a victim of his own actions. In many circles, even the “establishment” realizes his time is coming to an end. I’ve been told by some close to him, that they realize he is not living up to the job as Chairman, and it is time for new leadership. His tight reign is slipping, and based on the reactions of many in the McLennan Party, so is his support.
I respect those who have agreed to participate in this debate. They understand the importance of connecting with the people, and understand the value of a debate. But, if you’re the weaker candidate, facing off with your stronger opponent is just a nightmare waiting to happen. So what do most people in that situation do? Nothing. They hide behind anything and anyone they can, making excuses and dancing around long enough to get to the election. Maybe…just maybe, they’ve fooled enough people to win an election.
But those days are over. Now, the voters are aware, and any candidate who isn’t willing to stand firm in front of the people are perceived as cowards. If they don’t have the courage to speak directly to the people and answer tough questions, sharing their vision, then we don’t want ’em.
I guess it’s not too late, but I won’t hold my breath to hear from Joe B. Hinton, my County Chairman who does not speak to me or anyone of us associated with GOPisForMe or the Hispanic Republican Club of the County he Chairs. It’s embarrassing, to be quite frank. I have had the pleasure of working with cooperative County Chairmen, and I do know how good it can be…with the right person at the helm. What we have in McLennan County is a joke…and it is time for new leadership. Perhaps the Republican voters in McLennan County feel the same? We’ll soon find out.