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We did not believe that we would be in this difficult position today. We set aggressive local goals and we did not achieve them. Based on a multiyear trend to close the gap with the Rs, we had reason to believe it would continue and we would win some statewide races. That did not happen and prior progress regressed. In short, today is a hard day, a day for reflection and regrouping.


These things are true:

  • Our principles and values are the core of who we are and are unshakable.
  • We reflect our positions honestly and without hesitation or apology.
  • We worked hard in this election and produced amazing work. We executed our plan until the very last day.
  • The Blanco County Democratic Party is strong and it will continue to grow because we know democracy depends on what we do.
  • One election does not alter our spirit or determine our fate.


Today's Reality

We got our butts kicked in Texas. You already know we lost all of the statewide races. You probably also know that nationwide Democrats are holding our own in Senate, House, and governors races. The predicated "red tide" as a negative statement on the Biden administration appears to have fizzled. Voters in most states are smarter (and more progressive) than given credit for. Unfortunately, Texas and Florida standout as breeding grounds for archconservatism. We cannot ignore or accept this.


In the Blanco County results, we got about 23% of the vote in most of the races with about 1,550 total votes.

  • Beto got 1,520 votes for 22.57%
  • Mike Collier received the most Democratic votes at 1,576 (23.49%)
  • Claudia Zapata with 1,553 votes (23.22%)
  • Pam Baggett with 1,543 votes (23.26%, percentage is higher because of fewer total votes)


The failure to grow the Democratic vote stands out as a cause and a challenge. In the midterm election in 2018, Mike Collier also had the most Democratic votes with 1,579 for 27.28%. By comparison, this year we had roughly the same number of Democratic voters while the Republican vote increased. Blanco County had a 2022 turnout rate of 65.97%, far exceeding the state rate of 45.6%. This year we executed a broad strategy to appeal to solid Democrats, infrequent voters, swing voters, and new voters. However, in this election there were 335 fewer total Democratic votes than in 2020. Where were these voters? Why did our strategy not motivate them?


Perspective

The following has been provided to us by J.B. Chimene. Are we going to accept this?

About 80% of eligible Texans were registered to vote in this election. Of those registered, only 45.6% showed up at the polls and 25% of those registered chose Abbott, and 20% chose Beto. What would have happened if the other 54.4% of registered voters showed up? Until Democrats find a way to engage at least half of those who won’t vote there won’t be any changes in this state. If after the past six years, it is still hard to get people interested in politics, we’re just going to have to accept minority rule.

Hope

"The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." – Martin Luther King, Jr.


To move forward, we need to accept the realities of our current circumstances and understand that there are many things we cannot control. This is not an excuse for inaction but a call to focused action. Let's identify what we can control, what the best strategies are to impact these things, and continue the work to provide the resources necessary to continue forward.


Change and new focus has already begun. As outgoing and incoming chairs, we are united in our optimism and desire to make Blanco County and Texas more reflective of our values and a better place to live. Laura will lead us as far as we will follow. We know you are standing with us to rethink and renew the Blanco County Democratic Party because there’s another true thing: The moral universe depends on people of goodwill to define justice.


Thank you for all you’ve done, given, and sacrificed. 


Onward.


Terry Casparis

Laura Smith

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Blanco County Democrats

P.O. Box 2223,

Johnson City, TX 78636

Email: bcd@blancocountydemocrats.org

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