Local candidates think hard before running for office

By Donna McCollum - bio | email

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Tom Strickland is serving his 12th year as a Nacogdoches County commissioner. He's now ready to run after grand kids, rather than votes. "To run for office is a lot of effort. It's time consuming, but it's enjoyable," said the long term commissioner for precinct 4.

County Judge Joe English describes running for office "a balancing act". "My advice is, it really takes more time than you realize and so you make sure you allot enough time to be able to do all the campaigning," said English who is running for a second term.

First time candidate, Max McCormack calls it a hectic, but fun ride. "When you actually step into the ball game it's very difficult to comprehend all the time that goes into running a campaign," said McCormack, a candidate in the county judge's race.

And then for candidates like B.W. Stripling, staying busy attracts him to the political arena. "After I got retired, and I had plenty of time, the more I thought about it, I'm going to get back involved where I can meet some of those people and serve the needs of the community. I just want to help the community," said the retired banker.

But along the way most candidates must ask for contributions. This takes confidence. "They're going to spend a lot of their own money. They're going to have to raise a lot of money to campaign," Stephen Wright, Democratic Party chair reminds potential candidates. "They've got to spend time and effort that maybe outside of spending time with their family or working at their job, but they see it as an important thing to be able to represent their constituents, so they pursue and carry on."

Something Reggie Cotton is doing, he says out of commitment. "I think you got to have a heart for it," said the precinct 2 commissioner.

Many factors come into play when deciding whether or not to seek public office, but once the decision is reached every candidate needs to follow the simple advice of Jackie Yates, Republican Party chair. "Run and run hard," is his advice.

Primary day is March 4th.

©2009 KTRE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.