Texas A Big Prize For Clinton And Sanders Campaigns

On March 1, Texas will deliver the largest number of delegates to date in Super Tuesday balloting.

By Shelley D. KoflerFebruary 8, 2016 10:49 pm| ,

This story originally appeared on Texas Public Radio

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders volunteers were working to nail down Texas support this weekend, with messages that pitted the former Secretary of State’s long-time relationships against the Vermont Senator’s anti-establishment appeal.

At a campaign rally on San Antonio’s West Side local Democratic officials and party leaders highlighted Hillary Clinton’s history with Texas.

Former state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte recalled how Clinton registered San Antonio’s Latino voters I 1972 as a volunteer with George McGovern’s presidential campaign.

“She was walking our neighborhoods when it wasn’t all that cool to be registering people with the last names of Garcia and Hernandez and Aguilar.  She was doing the work, right?”

Phone bank volunteers called voters, while others walked door-to-door.

Clinton National Political Director Amanda Renteria visited a West Side neighborhood where the candidate registered voters more than 40 years ago.

She tried to convince a reluctant Fidel Gonzalez to vote and choose Clinton

“We hope you’ll consider voting because we need your voice,” Renteria said.

Former Texas Land Commissioner Garry Mauro is a long-time friend of the Clintons who has organized the Texas presidential campaigns for Hillary and Bill Clinton.

Mauro discounts Sanders’ strong showings in Iowa and New Hampshire saying voters there are mostly Anglo.  He says Sanders doesn’t have Clinton’s deep ties among African-Americans and Hispanics who will be important in Texas’s Democratic primary and in choosing the party’s nominee.

“Bernie has a real uphill battle.  There is no Hispanic community in Vermont.  He has no history with Hispanics.  He has no history with Texas.  We have a lot of people who have been knowing Hillary and helping Hillary for a lot of years, so I think you’re going to see Hillary do well in Texas.”

But fifteen minutes away, in another West Side neighborhood, Sanders volunteers seemed to be connecting with Hispanic Democrats and disenchanted voters on Berry Hill Road.

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