To the Editor,

The Ellis County Republican Women sponspored an opportunity for candidates competing in the primary races for various races to present their respective cases to the public at the Civic Center in Waxahachie. Ken Roberts of KBEC and Neal White of the Daily Lightídid an outstanding job, in my view, of facilitating this event. Due to the number of presenting candidates, time only allowed each candidate a 5 minute presentation of why primary voters should help them win. This format probably is a good providence for the Republicans this election cycle. There needs to be forums for candidates to openly challenge each other and debate differences, but the agony experienced by Republicans in recent years nationwide might need these kinds of occasions where little intra-party hassles are discussed. (Some of believe that itís a mixed bag of injustice against Republicans: it has been partly by times when Republicans have been their own worst enemies; largely, itís due to double standards in our culture that gives the other major party a complete pass for things as serious as Benghazi and the murder of our ambassador, while a Republican can belch improperly and be treated like a pariah! Itís true and itís easy, but I was so happy to meet a bunch of Ellis County citizens ready to win and not whine about unfairness!

It was a delight for me and a special treat. As a citizen who works many evening shifts, it is so rare to be able to attend this kind of thing. To be honest, not all of the presenters were gifted speakers.But, it came across to me as the kind of precious grassroots Americana that Jefferson, Franklin and French visitor Tocqueville would be smiling on from the other dimension! Every candidate spoke from the heart, as best as I could tell. Even the two incumbents, in my opinion,† sounded like citizen candidates who regard it as a real privilege to serve your fellow citizens in elective office. That was something that I canít say has always been how I felt leaving a political meeting in past years, so I was encouraged for Ellis County more than ever. The passion for principle bodes well for Ellis County, in my view.

There are two candidates I am supporting, but thankfully, neither is out of feeling an urgency over a negative impact of electing their respective opponets. They are both running to win primary races against very decent people. Charlie Hatfield has been a friend since I moved to Ellis County in 1990. I believe that he is able to unite those of us who are more Tea Party oriented and fellow citizens who are a little reserved about the Tea Party label. He has put his heart into serving his fellow citizens of Ferris as publisher of a newspaper, involved in many projects to help Ferris attract new business and make life better. While I have no impression other than a good one about the other candidates for Ellis County Judge, the length of acquaintance and belief in Charlie is my deciding factor for this race.

Electing Darren Bravenac, in my opinion, gives Ellis County Republicans living in Precinct Two where I live a rare opportunity to tell† our young people that we recognize how important it is, locally, county wide, statewide, and nationally, to capture the enthusiasm of youth and help promote the attraction of more young people to public life. It might be that 25-year-old Darren does not have the maturity of gray hair that we also need in public decision-making, but it is extremely exciting and heartwarming to me as someone entering my 6th decade alive, that God has blessed Ellis County with sharp, principled, decent, hard-working, intelligent, and morally grounded citizens like Darren who has already done more to advance political causes he believes in that many of us twice his age! I really liked his competitors for this job. (Itís true, Iím not just saying this.) But electing Darren would be a Republican coup against so much of the fraudulent prejudice against Republicans and conservatives.

Paul Richard Strange Sr.,


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