Once again, El Editor Bidal has asked a provocative and penetrating question for this year’s political season. Yes, I do believe that the Chicano community, and Democrats in general, should consider crossing over and voting in the Republican Primary.

Many might argue that Democratic votes are necessary to rebuild the Party, and that Democrats should never stray from the party fold. However, Democrats may best assert their strength in the General Election, when Democratic nominees are on the ballot. If most voters opt not to participate in the Primaries, or ignore the Republican Primary, those same voters shall find that the winning choices have already been made before November…since the Republican Party is now the majority Party in Lubbock County, and all but three officeholders are listed as Republicans, the way to true participation is clear.

In this year’s Democratic Primary, no local races are on the ballot…and the only major statewide race is for Governor, between Bob Gammage and Chris Bell. However, the Republican Primary features several high profile races…the most important being the contests for State Representative, District 83, and for Criminal District Attorney.

In the District 83 race, longtime incumbent State Rep. Delwin Jones faces a challenge from the far right in the person of Van Wilson. Frank Morrison, a former City Councilman, is the third candidate for this position. If Delwin is defeated by Van Wilson, the moderate, rural wing of the GOP will be crippled again. Wilson would join Carl Isett in NOT representing Lubbock’s Chicano community!

The race for District Attorney pits the hardline appointed incumbent, Matt Powell, against a well-know defense attorney, Tommy Turner. Once again, the outcome of this contest will profoundly affect El Barrio, in many, many ways.

The Justice of the Peace race for Precinct 4 features a Lubbock policeman, Dennis Kelley, against Jean Anne Stratton. It might be argued that the police department is already overrepresented, given the priorities of Tom Martin, Linda DeLeon and Floyd Price on the Lubbock City Council.

Many legislators and judges are former prosecutors or former policemen…not a good trend.

The Primary also features a contest for County-Court-at-Law between incumbent Drue Famer and Scott Morris, a prosecutor, and the race for County Clerk has four hopefuls: David Young, Mike Arismendez, Penny Turner and Kelly J. Pinion. Amarillo attorney Walt Weaver faces Pat Pirtle for Justice of the Seventh Court of Appeals in Amarillo.

Another race in the Republican Primary features this writer,

El Indio, against John D. Steinmetz, a banker with Plains Capital. Steinmetz was endorsed today by Mayor Marc McDougal…that tells you something! Only Tom Martin has been worse for El Barrio then Mad Marc. The McDougal family forced the relocation of hundreds of Chicano families in Overton North, while El Indio has been a longtime opponent of the McDougal boondoggles. I believe that my long history of work in the Chicano community, beginning with my association with Nephtalí DeLeon and La Voz de los Llanos, and continuing to this day, would bring about quite a change in local Republican politics!

El Barrio, consider crossing over this time…I think your vote and voz will be most effective that way. Su Voto es su Voz!

Viva La Causa!

R.Q. (El Indio) Settler
eleditor@sbcglobal.net