On The Campaign Trail - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

03/01/08 - Nacogdoches

On The Campaign Trail

by Donna McCollum 

 For several months candidates interested in a position on the Nacogdoches County Commission have been attending the meetings.   You could call it an apprenticeship, in case they win. County commission candidate Jim Elder said,  " Those meetings have been extremely informative and it's kinda a little interesting as to what goes on during these meetings. Now, of course, there's so much that goes on behind the scenes."  

Nacogodoches County Republican Party Chair Jackie Yates quickly answers what's the most difficult challenge.  " Asking for money. They hate to ask someone for contributions. A lot of times they feel comfortable working for money, but they don't feel comfortable for asking." Local campaigns can run into the thousands. Soon the candidate learns how to go about spending it. Nacogdoches County Democratic Party Chair Tim Garrigan said, " There's the battle of the yard signs.  A lot of it is just name recognition."

And accomplishing that takes a lot of guts. Angelina County Democratic Party Chair Jim Wark notices,  " They're a little nervous. They're a little tight when they have to stand before the public." Being an extrovert comes in handy. Nacogdoches County District Attorney Candidate Nicole LoStracco says of herself, " I like talking to people. I've never been accused of being shy. " The opponent, incumbent Stephanie Stephens says,  " It's nice to have a reason to get out and meet people and talk with people and hear what they have to say. I am enjoying that part. "

The campaign trail can be long and difficult. Few candidates realize the time it takes away from their business, family and friends. Dean Cherry said,  " It's very difficult to do both and I'm worn out and my wife is tired. And so we hope for the best, but we'll also be glad when it's over. " But along the way most every candidate says they enjoy the campaign trail.

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