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Texas Democrats say they will train new candidates for office in response to 'failed Republican leadership' during storm
The Democratic Party of Texas announced Tuesday that it was partnering with a national Democratic-aligned organization to train dozens of new candidates in response to what it said was "failed Republican leadership" in the days after a brutal winter storm left the state paralyzed.
A statement from the state party indicated that it was partnering with the National Democratic Training Committee (NDTC) and had signed up more than 60 candidates to run for statewide or municipal offices.
"In the wake of the deadliest winter storm in decades due solely to failed Republican leadership in the state of Texas, The Texas Democratic Party and National Democratic Training Committee know that winning elections has never been more crucial than it is right now," Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa said in a statement.
"That's why we created an innovative candidate training program to ensure that our candidates have the skills and resources necessary to win up and down the ballot in November," Hinojosa said.
The training sessions, spread over four weeks, will provide candidates information on campaign processes such as finance management, messaging and building a digital strategy.
A number of Democrats have already run for office and won after attending sessions provided by the NDTC, including Vanessa Fuentes of the Austin City Council and Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra, a NDTC representative told The Hill.
"The investment that the Texas Democratic Party is making in candidate training will reap benefits across the state, up and down the ballot and result in this real change happening faster. We are proud to stand with these incredibly talented individuals who are running to make a difference in their communities," said the NDTC's CEO, Kelly Dietrich.
Texas officials have faced widespread criticism in the wake of a devastating winter storm that left millions without power for days, caused by frozen machinery at many of the state's power facilities. At least 50 people died from storm-related causes, according to officials.
The head of the state's public utilities board resigned on Monday after urging from the state's lieutenant governor.
Other criticism has centered around one of the state's U.S. senators, Ted Cruz (R), who flew with his family to Cancun, Mexico, in the days immediately following the storm.