I was looking forward to our first meeting after the election. Sunday afternoon, everyone at the precinct chairs meeting was excited because of the strength of Democrats’ primary election results in Hays County. After winning 45% of Hays and Blanco votes, I will face a run-off opponent who received 31% of the vote. I felt so moved when everyone applauded me for coming out on top of a three-candidate race. The precinct chair meeting was lively and productive, with a few tense moments when people disagreed about issues. Everyone eventually had their say—from the newcomers to the oldest sages of the tribe–and the group normed, stormed and reformed with a new sense of unity and determination to win in November.
After meeting with Hays County precinct chairs, I went with a group of candidates and supporters to eat and strategize at Gil’s Broiler. I found myself remembering when I got my first job at then Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State) and we tasted the restaurant’s famous Manske rolls. I never dreamed I’d be sitting at that same restaurant three decades later planning a political campaign with the owner, Ruben Becerra, our 2018 Democratic nominee for Hays County judge. The longer we all talked, the more I realized the importance of sharing food, community and a history of relationships. Before we all finally took off, Ruben insisted we all take an extra Manske roll. When I got home I relived the afternoon as I savored the hot sweet pastry.