Texas Campaign Diary: The Finish Line

We received reports about a 13-year-old who portrayed me in a mock election at school. We've enjoyed her aggressive campaigning and sticking to issues (and her innovative use of candy giveaways: "Don't be a dum-dum...vote Radnofsky").

This is a great day, with an in studio morning radio show and then, having voted early, off to the polls to meet voters. I was pleased to be covered by several networks, radio stations and print, and have been taking phone call interviews all day.

A highlight: the vice principal of the Kipp School came to vote, stopped to talk before and after voting, and asked me to visit the students. I came at 1:30 and spent an hour visiting with the fifth grade students. Their questions were superior! These kids asked cogent questions regarding the 15th Amendment, voting, tensions within the First Amendment, and talked about what they wanted to be when they grew up: we're going to have a good generation of doctors (mostly pediatricians), nurses, a marine biologist, lawyers, an archeologist, counselors, an actor, and a few professional athletes who have contingency plans as engineers!

One of the radio reporters, from San Antonio, came with us to the Kipp academy. We stuffed him in the back with our signs and campaign items ... Truly an imbedded reporter. The children's interviews to him are priceless.

I returned to the polls, did several more TV and radio interviews, and headed out for a quick bike ride before the afternoon Dallas radio call in, which I understand will follow my opponent's interview.

I've also fielded wonderful calls and emails. No, no one from the national party or major organizations, but hundreds to my personal account of folks I've maintained correspondence with. I've received permission to reprint these two which struck me.

Seth,
I went early this morning to cast my vote. I thought about voting straight ticket, but decided against that, and instead, marked each candidate individually, giving some thought to each one. When I voted for Barbara Ann, I felt an acute sense of necessity, and of wishing I could do more than bleed ink in the slim hope it would make a difference.

Last night around 8:30, I received word that MH, a 2000 graduate of Canadian High School, had been killed in a helicopter crash north of Baghdad. There are few details this morning, but the word has spread through town and the shock and sadness and new sense of immediacy are palpable.

Voting today meant something more than it has before. Making that simple mark on a paper ballot, I felt like I was drawing a line. No more, I thought. No more can I tell myself there is nothing that can be done. No more.

Tell Barbara Ann I was proud to vote for her today, and that I am re-awakened to the very serious responsibilities of citizenship in this country. And please thank her for me.
Laurie
Canadian, Texas
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BARBARA ANN, you're the best!  I will say my prayers for you today.

I have not told you previously that during WWII, we were living in Holland. My father worked for the underground. His job was to ferry downed British and American flyers from Holland through France and into Spain. On one of those trips he was captured near the Spanish border. He and another member of the underground escaped by jumping from a train in France.  They worked with every flavor or underground - religious affiliated, government affiliated and even such organizations as the Rote Kapella which was, charitably put, rather left leaning.

My mother thought he was dead. Miraculously, he appeared at our house in Delft in early 1945 wearing the uniform of a sergeant in the  Canadian army. Life is strange, but I understand very well your pride in your father's escape and subsequent repatriation. The last 6 months of the war were the worst. Many Dutchmen simply starved to death because the Germans stopped all food shipments. It's a miracle anyone survived.
You are by far the best person for this office, Barbara Ann. Never forget that.
Roy
San Antonio, Texas