Democratic candidates speak in Stephenville

By: Sierra Wells

Managing Editor

The Democratic Candidate Tour was held on Sept. 10 in Stephenville, allowing community members to hear from several people up for election in November.

“The purpose of our party is to strengthen the idea that government exists to serve all people in a fair and open manner that is effective,” Erath County Democratic Party Treasurer Pat Schipper said. “Citizens should be informed without political, religious or economic intimidation.”

Five candidates attended this event, including Susan Hays, Tracy Fisher, Amanda Reichek, Erin Nowell and Janet Dudding.

Originally from Brownwood, Texas, Hays is running for Agriculture Commissioner in the upcoming election. 

She was inspired to run for office due to her involvement with legalizing hemp in Texas, as well as her goal to address issues in rural health care and economic development.

“I remember when this area was all Democrat, and the local leadership, in Brown County at least, used their powers in the government to try to help their community, to bring in economic development, to improve the lot of the people who live out here,” Hays said. “And I’ve watched that culture fall away to this political culture of just using your power to feather your own nest, to try to win your next election.” 

A table was set up where attendees could register to vote, purchase buttons or stickers and donate to the Erath County Democratic Party.
Photo By: Sierra Wells

Fisher is running for State Board of Education, District 14. Her priorities include retaining professional educators, reconsidering how children are educated and restoring the community’s confidence in public schools. 

“We live in a ubiquitous world, where knowledge is very accessible anywhere, so what you learn isn’t as important as that you learn to learn,” Fisher said. “And so, if we can work on those standards and that testing that we do right now and instead focus on deeper learning opportunities for kids, whether they want to go into career, college, military or whatever they dream about, it’s important for kids to have hope and for all of us to have hope in our future.”

Nowell, who serves on the Texas Fifth District Court of Appeals, is a candidate for the Texas Supreme Court.

“The reason that we’re running is to put people on this court that have a diversity of background, that have a diversity of thought and that will stand up for every Texan, not just Texans that look like those on the court and not just Texans that Greg Abbott would appreciate them standing up for,” Nowell said. “So, I hope that you will help us find a place on that court and serve you.”

Also serving as a Texas Fifth District Court of Appeals Justice, Reichek is running for a position on the Texas Supreme Court.

“I think Republicans and Democrats can all agree that we need an independent judiciary, the cornerstone of our democracy,” Reichek said. “We don’t have it. We don’t have one in our state. I’m running to change that.”

Running for Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Dudding plans to address climate change, expand Medicaid and much more.

Community members at the Democratic Candidate Tour were treated to burgers while they listened to candidates speak.
Photo By: Sierra Wells

Though he was unable to attend in person, Governor candidate Beto O’Rourke filmed a message for the citizens of Erath County.

“Our fellow Texans want change, and the best way to bring them in is to knock on their doors, to meet them where they’re at and invite them into this next election,” O’Rourke said. “We are going to win, and we’re going to win because of the work that you all are doing.”

During the event, State Democratic Executive Committeeman for Senate District 22 Thom Hanson expressed the value of supporting Democratic candidates financially.

“Please make sure you’ve got some of their literature; look at their web pages. They’ve all got a donation link or something there,” he said.

For more information about the upcoming election, visit

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