Labor Day Picnic

Candidate Kathy Richerson, who is campaigning for Texas House District 54, speaks at the annual Democratic Women's Association of Lampasas' Labor Day Picnic on Monday, Sept. 3, 2018, at Hancock Park Pavilion in Lampasas.

Kathy Richerson, who is running against Republican Brad Buckley for the Texas House District 54 seat, said in Lampasas on Monday that part of her campaign strategy is knocking on doors.

“We’re going to be working on handing out literature that explains the issues,” she said.

She also said she’s had the time of her life running for office.

It might seem like an uphill battle to be a Democrat in a “red state” like Texas, but Richerson pointed out there are plenty of registered party members and many “Republicans are really upset.”

“People are angry and they want something to change,” Richerson said. “I think (the Texas Legislature in) Austin is completely off track.”

Speakers at the 18th annual Lampasas Democratic Party Labor Day Picnic on Monday showed their patriotic spirit with early voting starting just next month.

Richerson spoke about the issues that most concern her, such as health care, public school funding, and getting people out to vote and volunteer.

Richerson said the difference between Democrats and Republicans is philosophical, but crucial.

“Democrats believe we’re all in this together, and that we can lift each other up by funding schools, government programs and healthcare,” she said. “We can figure out a way to finance it if it’s important.”

In addition to Richerson, the Democratic candidates who spoke included Julie Oliver, who is running against Republican incumbent Roger Williams for the U.S. House of Representatives, Texas District 25; and Joi Chevalier, who is the candidate for Texas comptroller running against incumbent Glenn Hegar.

Oliver, who spoke first at the event, talked about labor issues and health care.

“In a time of record income inequality, we need to elect leaders at all levels who value what workers contribute,” she said.

Oliver advocated for universal health care. “It actually lowers the cost for everyone,” she said.

Volunteer-power

Volunteers from the Democratic Women’s Association of Lampasas held the event at the Hancock Park pavilion.

Clouds, scattered rain and mist-fans kept the temperatures tolerably cool for about 100 people who attended the event.

“We’re excited,” said Kathy Davis, precinct 1 captain for the Lampasas Democratic Party.

She said she and other volunteers have been keeping busy “block-walking.”

“We’ve knocked on at least 500 doors so far, with 2,000 being our goal,” she said.

Davis said she’s gotten good response.

“People are coming out of the woodwork in support,” she said. “Often it is things like little old ladies hosting phone banks. Women are the backbone of our party.”

This election is critical, she said.

“I believe we’re fighting for our democracy,” Davis said. “I feel like I’m doing my part to keep our democracy alive. It’s a war for minds and hearts.”

All speakers mentioned getting people out to vote and increasing volunteerism.

“Tell your children what life was like when you were growing up — we still had segregation when I was young,” Richerson said. “We’ve come a long way but we still have a long way to go. There can’t be any change unless you vote.”

Emily Hilley-Sierzchula is reporter for the Killeen Daily Herald. Reach her at emilys@kdhnews.com

Herald reporter

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