By Cassidy Pate, News Editor
In line with Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, the Bell County Democratic Party hosted its Third Annual Bell Brunch at Cathedral Oaks in Belton on Sunday. Those running for office, supporters and donors of the democratic party gathered to introduce their goals for “building for a bigger, bolder 2020.”
Following a meal provided by Bird Creek Burger, Bell County Democratic Party Chair Hon. Chris Rosenberg offered the opening remarks and welcomed those in attendance, prominent members of the Bell County Democratic Party.
“We hope you’ll be inspired by this day, by our chairmen, by our excellent candidates and by being together with fellow democrats in such a beautiful space,” Chris Rosenberg said. “After all our hard work, I believe, one year from today, we will be celebrating wins for our party beyond our imagination.”
Rosenberg then introduced the first candidate, Clayton Tucker, who is running for House District 54.
“Clayton is prepared to take this fight to where it’s never been before; this is a winnable seat for us, and the eyes of Texas are upon us,” Chris Rosenberg said. “Please welcome one of the most authentic and kind politicians you will ever meet: Clayton Tucker.”
With a foundation of “neighbors helping neighbors,” which originated from his grandfather, Tucker is passionate about topics such as climate change, violent crime and the lack of affordable healthcare.
“With everything going on, our time to serve is now, and my brothers and sisters it is calling our names; together, we shall not fall, in fact we are going to rise because, banding together, we will make this world better than when we found it, together as neighbors helping neighbors…” Tucker said. “Cease the moment, for our time is now.”
The crowd responded with thunderous applause to Tucker’s passionate, call to arms speech.
State Executive Committee Representative of Senate District 24 and Parliamentarian William Rosenberg announced Candidate for U.S. Senate MJ Hegar, who used an “us versus them” approach.
Following three tours in Afghanistan as a combat search and rescue and medevac pilot, one of which was interrupted by the Taliban destroying her helicopter, William Rosenberg said she earned a purple heart for injuries but was barred from entering a ground combat position because she is a woman.
“MJ knew that rule was not only unjust but a detriment to military preparedness; changing that rule was a fight she had to take on,” William Rosenberg said. “She worked across the aisle and successfully led the charge in a full return of outdated policy and opened up hundreds of thousands of jobs for women in the military.”
Following her retirement from the military, Hegar has been an advocate for gender equality and discussed a number of issues, as well as how she is preparing to take them on during her time at the Bell Brunch.
“There is so much common ground here, y’all, we just have to change the way we are having these conversations,” Hegar said. “Instead of ‘agree with me for the reason I am giving you,’ we need to say ‘here’s the reason why you should agree with this, here’s why you should be worried about climate change, here’s why you should want everyone to have access to healthcare.”
Texas Senator Hon. Royce West is running for re-election into the U.S. Senate and was described as a “commanding presence” by William Rosenberg. By explaining what he has done and what he plans to continue to do as a U.S. Senator, West received an energetic reaction from the audience.
Speaking on the fight for an expansion of Medicaid, gun violence and, congruently, what he has done to combat it, and abortion rights, West said he has support from 10 of 12 democratic senators in Texas, as well as 49 of 67 democratic members of the Texas House of Representatives as he prepares for the 2020 election.
“When legislation said you don’t have a right to choose, I stood with you; I stood strong,” West said. “I’ve been fighting for the expansion of Medicaid, and the numbers are right: Texas is number one in terms of the number of our uninsured; Texas is number one in terms of the number of children that are uninsured. I will fight for the expansion of Medicaid; I think healthcare is a fundamental right.”
The final candidate William Rosenberg introduced was Hon. Gilberto Hinojosa, Chairman of Texas Democratic Party.
“Gilberto Hinojosa has had a long history of public service in Texas,” William Rosenberg said. “He has steered the Texas Democratic Party through some troubled seas and stormy weather with a position of strength and promise…”
Drawing from his experience as a school trustee, state district justice, justice of the state court of appeals, Hinojosa has served as chairman since 2012 and said he is inspired by what is happening in Bell County.
“When I first came to Bell County nine years ago when I was campaigning for the job I met with a lot of people that are here today, and they talked to me about they needed help; in Bell County, democrats were afraid to even put a bumper sticker on their car, they were afraid to put a sign in front of their yard, they were afraid to even declare to anyone that they were a democrat; you’ve come a long way, Bell County Democrats.”
Hinojosa went on to depict the hardships brought forth by the 2020 election period. By repeating the phrase “it is hard,” Hinojosa revealed the issues at hand and shared his ideas of how the Democratic Party should contest them.
The event concluded with words of appreciation from Chris Rosenberg in the support of the Bell County Democrats.