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* * * 2008 * * * : Local Reactions to Election
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 Message 1 of 7 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameZelfrieda1  (Original Message)Sent: 11/6/2008 7:38 PM
Local Reactions...
Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The day after a historic presidential election and several closely watched local political races, many in Nacogdoches were still processing Tuesday night's poll results. Reactions were mixed, ranging from the inspired hopeful to the disappointed fearful.

In a county where 64 percent of voters endorsed the Republican ticket, many were dejected over Democratic Senator Barack Obama's election to the presidency.

"I'm sick, I'm frightened and concerned," said Galdys Fogle outside the Nacogdoches Post Office.

John Sheonrock remained agnostic about what might happen, but questioned America's motive for electing Obama. "God's in control. I voted for the Bible," he said, adding, "A lot of folks voted for color, but he's half white."

Tony Kahn worried that the new president will increase troop activity in the ongoing war in Afghanistan. "I do have some concerns that Obama-Biden are going to start a war in Afghanistan. They seem gung-ho about going over there and sending more troops."

In a community with a long history voting Republican, the outcome was a philosophical defeat. "I'm disappointed because I'm a Republican. I grew up in a Republican home," said Cameron Disney.

Others were more patient, and some were relieved at the national election's outcome.

"I'm happy because it's change," Harrison Hodges said.

Local Republican Party Chairman Jackie Yates said an unfortunate string of economic and political events had doomed the McCain campaign. But he said Nacogdoches was clear in its preference.

"I think the message was pretty well sounded. Nationwide, I don't think they got the message out very well," he said.

At the local level, poll results reflected the core values of the community, Yates said. "Everybody (local Republican candidates) ran real strong ... I'm just tremendously excited about the service they're going to provide."

Yates said he expects the local Republican Party to relax and take stock followed by a period of reflection and re-evaluation before the 2010 elections. "We can look at the area where we didn't communicate our message well and try to do so better in the future."

Democratic Party Chairman Tim Garrigan's feelings obviously differed on Wednesday. "I'm thrilled with the Obama-Biden win for the White House. I'm disappointed with races lower on the ballot. But we won the most important race. That's history being made," he said.

Only one Democrat, David Adams, was elected to a local position and was re-elected as Pct. 2 constable.

Garrigan warned that local conservative leadership had caused problems in the past and would continue to do so. "If we keep electing the same people, we're going to have the same problems," he said, citing a widespread fear of change as the cause of the Republicans' local victories.

To his political opponents worried about the upcoming Obama presidency, Garrigan offered words of comfort.

"As people get used to Barack Obama as president, I think he'll show the same steady leadership he did throughout the campaign. I think this will get our economy back on track, and that will help East Texas."

Dr. Michael Tkacik, an assistant professor of political science at SFA, also offered an optimistic outlook for Republicans holding their heads after Tuesday night's results.

"I think the Republican Party is in real good shape. I think this election was really just a rejection of President Bush as much as anything else," he said.

Texas, like much of the South, tends to vote Republican because of social issues like religion, abortion and gay rights issues that are a core of the party platform. But Democratic leadership may aid rural areas like Nacogdoches, Tkacik said.

"Economically, we're not as well off as other areas of the country, and part of President-elect Obama's plan is to sort of help the downtrodden a little bit more. So there might be some benefits for the area, certainly in terms of tax policy. For many of these people who voted for McCain, the reality is that Obama's tax policies are going to help them out more than Sen. McCain's tax policies would have."

For John Morrison, who worked as an Obama Campaign Field captain during a two-week break from his work as the NAACP Tri-County chapter president, Obama's ascendancy to the presidency was a historic and inspiring moment. Morrison spent election day piping an audio recording of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech through speakers mounted atop his car, in an effort to draw parallels between Dr. King and Sen. Obama. Though he was stopped by police for violating city ordinances, he still felt strongly about the historical and symbolic connections between the two men.

"The speech that he made about 'I have a dream' ?it came true," Morrison said. "Forty years ago, Martin Luther King was assassinated, and 40 years from that day was the day that they elected the first black man as president of the United States."

Morrison said when he heard the results of the election, he let out an exclamation of joy. "Oh happy day," he said.

But no matter who was watching returns come in Tuesday evening, there was likely some joy and some disappointment, a blend of sentiments best summed up by Nacogdoches resident Tennillie Williams on Wednesday.

"I think it turned out well," Williams said. "I'm happy with the decisions, but I know a lot of people who aren't. But, they'll get over it."

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The number of members that recommended this message. 0 recommendations  Message 2 of 7 in Discussion 
Sent: 11/6/2008 7:41 PM
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 Message 3 of 7 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameZelfrieda1Sent: 11/6/2008 7:42 PM
just don't understand.
Where have these people BEEN????
here - right next to me and not paying a bit of attention to anything past Main Street.

The number of members that recommended this message. 0 recommendations  Message 4 of 7 in Discussion 
Sent: 11/6/2008 9:01 PM
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The number of members that recommended this message. 0 recommendations  Message 5 of 7 in Discussion 
Sent: 11/6/2008 9:03 PM
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 Message 6 of 7 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameZelfrieda1Sent: 11/6/2008 9:06 PM
I guess they can't stand that a black man got elected so they have to somehow deny that its happened by saying he's only half....
He's a whole person and that's all that matters!

The number of members that recommended this message. 0 recommendations  Message 7 of 7 in Discussion 
Sent: 11/6/2008 9:10 PM
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