Politics, Hays County Style

Four years ago, when I was still registered to vote in Hays County, I went back to Buda to vote after work one night. As I approached the polling place, I was greeted by a stocky young man, about my age, holding a sign, who shook my hand and said:

"Hi, I'm Patrick Rose, I'm running for State Represenative, and if you vote for me, I promise I'll work real hard for you."

Before I had a chance to respond, a skinnier young man (pictured above) with a sign in hand approached, shook my hand, and retorted:

"Well now, let me tell you the other side of the story. I'm Rick Green, I'm also running for State Representative, and I'd like your vote."

I don't remember what I said, but I thought, "Hey, I could probably make these guys beg for my vote, or debate each other, or pretty much anything else. This is cool." I then walked into Hays Hills Baptist Church and voted for the Green Party candidate.

The next day, I saw that Rose, the Democrat, had won and thought nothing more of it. What I didn't know was that KLRU, the Austin PBS affiliate, was filming a documentary about this particular race for State Representative called Last Man Standing: Politics, Texas Style. When I came across it on KLRU one night and recognized the two men, I instantly got interested and learned the following:

1) Rose was 24 years old and just out of school; a good kid learning the how to campaign as he came along. Rick Green (the Republican) was a massive tool who employed Christian rhetoric to gloss over corruption issues.

2) The two men clearly did not like each other, continually sniping at each other at the polling place I met them at.

3) The race swung multiple times and came down to the final precincts before Rose emerged as the victor.

4) In a year where Republicans romped statewide, Patrick Rose was the only Democrat to unseat an incumbent Republican in the State of Texas.

So fast-forward four years... Patrick Rose lives up to his word and builds a reputation as a hardworking legislator, and Rick Green fades into Bolivian...

...until he emerges again at a polling place in Dripping Springs and assaults Patrick Rose in the parking lot.

Apparently, Green didn't manage to land a punch. My friend Tommy saw Rose at a polling place in Buda earlier tonight, and he looked none the worse for wear.

I miss Hays County politics...


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