East Texas political leaders stress unity in light of presidenti - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

East Texas political leaders stress unity in light of presidential candidates' mudslinging

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It’s no secret that the race for the White House has turned ugly and sooner than past elections.

"We have been running up to that more and more the last couple of years. The personal attacks can be attributed to a lot of things," said Luan Tatum, a former Democratic chair for Angelina County.

It's a knock-down, drag-out fight that both sides of the aisle that everyone can agree is out of the ordinary, even for politics.

"You are seeing something that none of us have ever seen before," said Robert Flournoy, the former Republican chair for Angelina County. "It's worse than ever, scary to me frankly,” he said.

With still four more months of campaigning to go for both parties, experts say the tension will continue rise.

"'Little Marco,' 'crazy Cruz' - all of these things he has started and will continue through November," Tatum said.

Both former Angelina chairs say that although the fight is getting nasty at the national level, it won’t change how the two parties treat each other in East Texas.

"That’s not who we are around here any way; we are more gentile and more respectful of each other," Flournoy said.

Both Flournoy and Tatum agree the level of personal attacks and bullying have changed the focus of the election away from policies and instead turned things personal.

"People need to recognize and notice is that national politics does have the chance to affect local politics," said Tatum.

The party differences are something that Democrats and Republicans will not allow to tear them apart or keep them from fulfilling their duties.

"You have people of all political persuasion that have to work together in order to make our community work," said Tatum.

Regardless of what the national stage is highlighting, East Texans will keep the primary concern on working together despite their differences.

"There are some really fine people even in the Democratic Party, and we’re friends," Flournoy said.

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