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There is no doubt that the current political landscape is complex and deeply divided around the country. But many folks here in South Texas are growing increasingly tired of national party lines and agendas and are placing more focus on things that directly impact them on a more frequent basis. Things like school reform, microeconomic stability, local energy, and property taxes. While some swear by their beloved parties, others are sticking to the point that as long as a person can do the job then they will get their vote. Now, in the new era of no more straight ticket voting, that argument could end up being truer than ever. 

While hardcore democrats like Eric Holguin are running at the state level on the idea the must flip the state at any cost, they are showing a loyalty to their party and less to their constituents that they claim to want to serve. It seems that while the young “flippercrat” democrats are focusing more on simply winning seats wherever they can, they are proving how little they know about politics at the state level and employing national tactics at the grassroots level. And while that might be working in some already heavy democrat areas, it does not sit well with a lot of folks who are “out here in the middle.” 

Democrats like republican state lawmaker Abel Herrero do a pretty good job at staying out of the national game. But the looming elephant in the room is this: Are you or aren’t you? 

Ask most voters and they will tell you that Herrero is little seen and often less heard from lawmaker. One could argue that it is because he is smart enough to stay out of the national political mire. Others, who are hardliner “flippers” are going to demand answers to the question of “are you with us or against us?” That could spell problems because now the cover is blown and people who may have considered voting for a moderate democrat but are fairly conservative will just not vote for a young “flippersnapper” looking to get a seat at any level they can. 

So the question remains: Are you party centered enough? 

Right now it does not seem like the democrats have much of a relatable platform at all at the state level. Jobs, responsible environmental policy and energy production, school finance and property tax reform all are topics that South Texans are buzzing about these days. Hardcore national agenda items are just not the topic of dinner table talks. In fact, head over to the cafe in Bishop and they are not talking about reproductive rights, transgender issues and foreign policy. They are talking about property taxes, how they can find and retain teachers, and drilling, of course. Ask them as to which party they vote with and you end up with a split decision. 

But then ask this question: Where does Herrero stand with you guys on school reform, local jobs, rural healthcare and tax reform? 

To a person they say they just don’t know. 

They all know where the republicans stand on major local issues but the democrats out here are finding themselves stuck in a rut, unable to come up with viable alternative solutions to complex issues that are very important to everyday Texans. And now, both hardcore democrats and moderates alike are asking the question “with whom by you stand? Us or them?”