SAN ANTONIO – We are in the early voting here in Texas and already thousands of people across the state have voted.
But still, there are thousands more who will wait until election day to vote.
The chairman of the Bexar County Democratic and Republican parties spoke with KSAT 12 News about the priorities, direction and future of the respective parties.
Monica Ramirez Alcantara, president of the Bexar County Democratic Party, said the party’s main goal was to bring together as many voters as possible.
Bexar County Republican Party Chairman Jeff McManus said they were focused on crime, inflation and “integrity.”
He said transparency was “very lacking” in the Court of Commissioners and the City Council.
The purpose of parties is similar: get out and vote on priorities.
“What we’re trying to remind everyone is that we just can’t sit on our hands and hope for change,” Alcantara said. “So the only way there will be any change is if we come out and use our voice, but most importantly, we use our vote and that’s what it’s going to take.”
“It’s not very difficult right now just because of the state of the economy, the increase in crime that’s crept in over the last two years,” McManus said.
Both parties advocate getting out and voting for change – it just depends on what voters want that change to look like.
On the one hand, there is the idea of a revolving tide across Texas.
“I believe locally that this wave is still there. I believe the wave is coming again. And I see we don’t care. I hope… the wave will take over. But if not, what I can see with the data we have is that this wave has eroded that red state,” Alcantara said.
But the GOP isn’t so convinced of any blue wave.
“I don’t think most people in the state of Texas would be fooled. To believe that the blue wave would benefit them financially? Of course not lately. Grant them individual rights? Of course not during COVID. Give them the benefit of secure borders? Of course, that didn’t happen there,” McManus said.
When it comes to local races, both sides are making a concentrated effort to defend ticket highs.
“At the top of our ticket locally, we have our DA’s run, which is Joe Gonzalez, and we have our county judge’s run with Judge Peter Sakai,” Alcantara said.
While the gubernatorial race is front and center for so many, McManus knows it comes down to local government.
“We are focusing on the commissioners court, because it is this year. And there we have two good candidates. We have Grant Moody and we have Trish DeBerry,” McManus said. “We have Marc LaHood running for DA, who is a great candidate.
“We as the Bexar County Republican Party must focus on our Bexar County races. We must vote for the support of all other candidates, whether state or federal. But if we don’t fix our own backyard here in Bexar County, we can’t expect those in Washington to fix our nation or those in Austin to fix our state.
Bexar County Democrats, however, say Beto O’Rourke is the top of their ticket.
“We had Governor Abbott in charge for eight years and he complained about crimes and so on. But he controls a lot of what happens here in Texas. And so if that’s the complaint, then I agree with him. He is right. Something has to change. Something has to happen. And that’s new leadership,” Alcantara said.
Since Bexar County is growing and the population is only increasing, the two presidents talked about the influx of new residents.
“From California, Oregon, Washington, New York. And welcome them here and help them understand that they made the right decision. Because you know why they left? Because they didn’t like it there,” McManus said.
McManus said the future of the Bexar County GOP is exciting.
“Brilliant. Because the more people own, the more they cherish their capacity for self-expression and their personal rights, because it’s their castle,” McManus said.
And as more and more people come to Alamo City and our surrounding areas, Alcantara believes the blue wave will only get bigger.
“I can see with the data we have that this wave has eroded that red state. And so we try to do our part locally to make sure that happens,” Alcantara said.
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