Tonight, we began our series of interviews with three Hispanic Republican candidates in South Texas. Rep. Raul Torres, now running for Texas Senate District 20, called in from the campaign trail to speak with us about his campaign and give us the run-down on issues along the Texas border.Torres spoke about the constituents he’s been meeting, and their desire to “break the cycle” in South Texas. As we all know, that region has been dominated by Democrats. It’s their final frontier, and they don’t want to let it go. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, the Democratic Incumbent, has been successful bringing home the “bacon,” but as Torres said, “the problem with that, is that the money never filters down where it’s needed the most.”
We talked about education, and the unbelievable drop-out rate of over 50%. He talked about the incredibly high teen-pregnancy rates, and described a region becoming more and more dependent on hand-outs.
“What’s your game plan on education?” I asked him. “I’ve got a three part plan,” he responded quickly, outlining the need to fight for our fair share of education dollars. He also mentioned the need to totally revamp the system and develop alternative sources for providing training courses or advanced technology classes for those who are not college bound.According to Torres, politicians in the region have been making promises for 15 to 20 years, and still nothing’s getting done. In fact, it’s gotten worse. He is energized by his large volunteer base, and is motivating to listen to. He understands the region and connects with the people, which is a key factor when asking for votes. People vote for candidates they like.
As I transitioned from my conversation with Raul Torres, I was immediately hit with the energy from Miriam Martinez. She began talking about Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, saying, “Well, going back to your comment about Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa bringing home the bacon, you have to remember, he’s the one who voted to cut over 4 Billion dollars in funding from our region,” ensuring his vote was not forgotten.
She continued to inform us of how the Democrat Party operates in South Texas, and gave us an idea of what she’s up against. She’s block-walking, meeting her constituents and enjoying every minute of this challenge. She’s used to being told she can’t do something. All her life, she’s been challenged, and each time, she uses the negative energy to motivate her. When you look into her eyes, you see a fighter…no doubt!After a few short minutes with Miriam, we introduced Joel De Los Santos, a Navy Veteran and Teacher who could no longer stand on the sidelines. He was also at one time on the “other” side. In 2010, he ran as a Democrat, against the wishes of the Democratic establishment. He was not supported, and did not succeed in his first attempt. But he learned something. He learned that the people he thought were his friends…the Democrats who he felt shared the same values, in fact, did not. He came to realize that his true home was in the Republican Party.
During our brief conversation, he also shared some experiences with the Democratic Party in South Texas. He talked about how primitive their tactics were, and how you had to even speak in broken English / Tex-Mex, in order to talk with the “high-level” Democratic operatives. Joel is facing a challenger who was recently indicted last week for interference with child custody. With the right message, Joel could easily win over the confidence of the voters in his district, which he says the majority of them are Conservative. He will continue, as will Martinez and Torres, to draw the contrasting issues to light, like the pro-life position of Republicans vs. the abortion position of the Democrats.
With the first series under wraps, and the tone set, you can be sure these conversations will continue to develop and who knows what we’ll be discussing next Thursday night? If I were you, I’d be tuned-in to the ONLY place bringing you REAL news and reports from the people who are actually in the fight to restore Texas and convert South Texas from Blue to Red…GOPisForMe.