Republican and Democratic women's groups in Nacogdoches are gearing up for upcoming elections

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - This week, East Texas Republican women will be in San Antonio for the Texas Federation of Republican Women's State Convention.

In February, Texas Democratic Women will host its state convention in Austin. Both events illustrate the power of women in politics. Almost always, the interest builds at the local level.

Chapter groups for the Texas Federation of Republican Women, once assigned to only social planning, are now on the front line of party politics.

"We think of ourselves in Nacogdoches County Republican Women as the life of the party," Jerri Jones, the TFRW Nacogdoches chapter president. "We like to provide the energy and the working hands to get the job done."

District Leader for Republican Women, Janis Holt praised the motto. She might even use it at this week's Republican Women State Convention.

"We are the breathing element of the GOP," Holt, the district president for Senate District 3, said. "We are able to share what is important to us and how we can help the GOP to grow also."

Texas Democratic Women has a similar focus for its party.

"Our goal is to turn Texas blue. The Nacogdoches county chapter just signed up 15 democrats," said Sherri Robertson, the Texas Democratic Women Nacogdoches chapter president.

Robertson tells each member community presence is essential for party growth.

"Being visible, being out in the community, showing effort that you are supporting some of these other organizations I believe much," Robertson said.

A Saturday downtown parade with a congressional candidate also gets the job done.

"And accompanying us will be Dr. Shirley McKellar, from Tyler, Texas who is running for U.S. congress," Robertson said.

The woman candidate is important. According to the Center for American Women and Politics more women turn out to vote than men. Still, here in Texas, the gender is under represented at the state and national levels.

"When we can have the conservative candidate to be a woman than we're able to have our voice heard," Holt said.

At the local level, women in politics from both parties are working toward change. Their focus remains getting out the vote among both men and women. In general, low voter turnout remains a major problem for Texas.

Our next election day is November 5. It's a state constitutional amendment election, which historically speaking, generates a very low voter turnout. Early voting begins a week from today.

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