It took more than a decade for Democrats to regain control on Capitol Hill. Now, Texas Democrats are wanting control at the state and local level. Local observers know to have patience.
Jenny Henson was busy at work in a medical lab during the news cutins of the historic change in Congress, but the Texas Democratic woman is keenly in tune with the day's events. She said, "I'm more optimistic now than ever because we can only go so far down."
Henson often talks like a devoted party member, but falls short of calling herself a 'yellow dawg' Democrat. She's found it difficult to vote straight party lines with so few Democratic candidates. She's hopeful for more choice in light of what's happened in Congress. "At this point I see more and more everyday people, not people I would call strong Democrats, wanting to see change, and that involvement of the general public is what has got me really optimistic."
How many Democrats in Congress may not be the only key factor in getting Democrats to run for office. According to one former Democratic candidate, it's the cost of running." Former state representative candidate, Robin Moore, said, "I finally paid off the last bit of my campaign debt last month, two years after I got through running, and that wasn't fun."
Now, Moore enjoys working in her gift shop, but knows first hand the cost of losing a run for office. She says the cost to run a campaign is what's influencing Democratic leadership. Moore said, "I think [that] until we change the ways campaigns are financed -- and, I mean, make it public financing of campaigns -- I don't think you're going to see any significant differences."
Bi-partisanship is the key word in soundbites from Congressional leaders who were sworn into office, but the question is, will cooperation be possible? Texas senator John Cornyn and Congressman Louis Gohmert are both Republicans, and they stressed the need for cooperation in their statements, but in a phone interview, Representative Gohmert tells us he believes Republicans have been shut out of some legislative processes. "Apparently, the first package that's been proposed dealing with rules and ethics caused out exceptions to protect some members, and we don't need to be doing that. America deserves a clean and uncorrupt Congress, and I'm hoping that the clearer minds prevail on both sides."
Gohmert was sworn in for his second term in office.