The Manske Roll and the Politics of Pastry

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.

Rueben Becerra, our Democratic nominee for Hays County Judge, knows what brings people together—in this case, a Manseke roll!

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.

It wasn’t just the tasty food that warmed me up on a chilly late Sunday afternoon. It was our commitment to the same ideals, the optimism that comes from hard work, and the strong sense of community and love that supports our efforts. I’ll keep working to reach voters, strengthen our ties, and gain the support of all our great neighborhood leaders in the run-up to the run-off. Our primary results reveal a big shift in Central Texas, and the numbers are trending more in our favor every day.
I can bring our varied community members together to win Texas House District 45 in November. In the house, I will work to fully fund pre-K through higher education, expand Medicaid, protect our air and water, and assure the rights and economic well-being of all Texans.

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