Democratic, GOP parties making final pre-election push in Nacogd - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Democratic, GOP parties making final pre-election push in Nacogdoches County

Nacogdoches County Democrat volunteer Pat Castella gives a sign of approval to a person picking up Clinton yard signs. (Source: KTRE Staff) Nacogdoches County Democrat volunteer Pat Castella gives a sign of approval to a person picking up Clinton yard signs. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Nacogdoches County Republican Party Chair, David Alders (far left) visits with volunteers at headquarters on East Austin. (Source: KTRE Staff) Nacogdoches County Republican Party Chair, David Alders (far left) visits with volunteers at headquarters on East Austin. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Final push election responsibilities are divided among volunteers at The Nacogdoches County Democratic Party Headquarters on East Main. (Source: KTRE Staff) Final push election responsibilities are divided among volunteers at The Nacogdoches County Democratic Party Headquarters on East Main. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Political parties are gearing up for a final push into Election Day, just 14 days away. (Source: KTRE Staff) Political parties are gearing up for a final push into Election Day, just 14 days away. (Source: KTRE Staff)
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -

Exactly two weeks from Election Day, the final push by both political parties is underway, nationally and here at home. 

East Texas News visited both headquarters in Nacogdoches County to see the strategy volunteers are taking.

In Nacogdoches County, right at 1600 people voted on the first day of early voting. That's a record number.

Down the street at the Democratic Party Headquarters, volunteers review a list of who voted. They're looking for the names of people they previously called with a get-out-to-vote message.  

"I'm pulling the early vote every day, and when I see who is not on there, we give them a few days and then we'll call them again,” said Pat Castella, a Democratic Party volunteer.

Castella said she gives them a gentle second reminder to please vote, with even a bigger push on November 7.

There are Democratic subcommittees. A Hispanic subcommittee works in specific ways to get out the vote. 

"Well we've got a front-page article that I wrote in Spanish,” said Amy Mixdorf, a Democratic Hispanic Subcommittee volunteer.

Off East Austin at the Republican Party Headquarters, David Alders, the party chair, receives an update of volunteer efforts. They too are working hard for their candidates.

"I want to salute the volunteers, the local Republican Party volunteers, who have manned this headquarters for 300 hours counting now since September 1st,” Alders said.

Phone banks and arranging rides to the polls for those who need it are among their duties. In addition, every effort is made to promote unity within the Republican Party.

"I'm really, really grateful to stand up and defend our local elected officials, but the presidential election really overhangs everyone's attitude,” Alders said. “I think everyone is ready for this election to be over because they're tired of the stress and the divisiveness, and we're anxious for that to change."

The polarization is illustrated with both parties having experienced vandalized and stolen political signs. It happens in every election, but in this election anger is more apparent. In Nacogdoches County, party leaders don't cast blame on one another.

"Because I don't think any reputable Republican Party volunteer or probably no reputable Democratic Party volunteer are out there in the wee hours of the night stealing signs or destroying signs,” Alders said.

"I don't believe it's the Republicans giving us the problem,” Castella said. “I believe there's this vigilante group that Trump has empowered, and that's, I believe, who is giving us problems. They probably won't even vote."

Meanwhile, a supply and demand problem for signs continues.  This week, volunteers from both parties traveled out of town to pick up even more signs. People may be tiring of the campaign season, but they're still participating. 

"This is the most important election they can conceive of in terms of setting the course of our country,” Alders said.

"I think we're very close to turning Texas blue,” Castella said.

The voters will decide the outcome. Two more weeks before learning who will succeed. 

Anyone needing a ride to the poll or who has questions about where and how to vote are encouraged to call or stop by a party headquarters. Most are open six days a week, thanks to the volunteers.

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