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Election 2008

Campaigning in a Country Called Texas

Suzie Lechtenberg

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A map of the counties in Texas.
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Hilton Kelley: I live in the city of Port Arthur, Texas, on the Gulf Coast. I am a community activist/actor.

What is life like? Life is good. Life is good. We eat a lot of seafood here. We've got jumbo shrimp. We like dirty rice and even have bullfrogs and alligator. But we really have a great time on the Gulf Coast; the only thing that we're really having to deal with that's not so great is industry. As you know, this place is called "Gasoline Alley," "Cancer Alley." You name it, it's been called that. So the environment is important to us, climate change is important to us and revitalization of our community is really important.

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Kryshon Bratton: I live in Houston, Texas. I am a born and raised Houstonian. My father is from India and my mother was a ballet dancer and I am a small business owner, a mother and a wife.

In Houston it's really going to come down to the stance on immigration. I definitely think that right now it's John McCain for me. He was out there with [Senator Ted] Kennedy on the Immigration Bill. I was very excited. I thought we were going to make progress and it was very disappointing to me that it didn't go much further than that.

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Cleatus H. Rattan: Well, I think probably Iraq is my major concern. And then health care. I think we are one of the few Western civilized worlds or industrialized worlds who don't have universal health care. You can work for your whole life and end up in a nursing home and they take your Social Security and house and everything else, and you played the game right all your life. So I think that's tacky.

I'm a professor of English. I'm a former marine and a former cowboy. Those things probably affect my opinion as much as anything else. My primary home that I keep is in rather deep West Texas. It's kind of a nice place to be. There's only about 3,000 people there so you can either head-in or parallel park whenever you want to. Nobody cares. It also has the advantage that we never repair our streets. So there's nothing clogging the traffic, if there were any traffic.

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Estela Soza Garza: McAllen is the town I live in and it's one of the 36 municipalities that are in the southern most part of Texas that borders with Mexico.

One of the most important areas is health care. I can tell you from personal experience that I lost a brother because he did not have insurance. He could not afford to pay for it and ended up dying at 42 -- very young. And many families are experiencing this. So if it wasn't for the emergency room or if it wasn't for Mexico, I don't know what people would do.

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David Mays: I live in Longview, Texas, and I'm a pastor at a Christian church. I was a Vietnam vet. I was in Cambodia when President Nixon got on the radio and said, "We have no troops in Cambodia." And that was the first time in my life that I discovered that our government openly lied to its people. That really hurts because that represents who I am, and I just don't see telling bold-faced lies as a way to do business. So I think getting truth back in the office is what's important.

What I like best about the Piney Woods is we have Pines, we have Hardwoods, we have Azaleas, we have Dogwoods and we have people that represent all those different kinds of things here. It makes it an interesting place to be and every day something is revealed.

More stories from our Election 2008 series

Comments

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  • By Mary Kelley

    From Minneapolis, MN, 03/01/2008

    Hey, Suzie--what was that music behind the campaigning in Texas story?

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