Fighting Dems Rally in Texas

From Holden:

Williamson County Texas is about as red as you can get, but that’s where the Texas contingent of the Fighting Dems rallied yesterday.

The “Texas Fighting Dems” staged a small rally at the Sun City retirement community to support fellow Democrat Mary Beth Harrell, the wife of an Army veteran and mother of a soldier in Iraq. She is running against incumbent Republican John Carter of Round Rock in the 31st Congressional District.

With a color guard, American flags and red-white-and-blue bunting on the podium in front of a crowd about 60, the Democrats lashed out at Carter, who sent a campaign fundraising letter to his supporters last month calling Harrell a “cut and run” liberal.

Although the group supports pulling out of Iraq, they bitterly resent any suggestion their position is cowardly and criticized Carter for not serving in the military.

“It’s an insult,” said Charlie Thompson, a retired Navy flight officer who is running for the 5th Congressional District in North Texas. “And it’s despicable.”

Joining the rally to support Harrell were candidates Dan Dodd, running in the 3rd District; Roger Waun in the 13th District; John Courage in the 21st District; Rick Bolanos in the 23rd District and Ted Ankrum, running in the 10th District as an independent. All are facing GOP incumbents.

“We are tired of hearing our patriotism questioned for our opposition to the occupation of Iraq, which is draining our national resources …. while placing our troops in the middle of a civil war between sectarian factions in Iraq,” Waun said.

Carter’s July 6 letter to supporters says Harrell has “joined with national liberals who call for a `cut and run’ policy in the War on Terror.”

Harrell has two sons in the Army: Joshua, 27, who is stationed in Arizona, and Robert, 30, who is in Iraq with the 4th Infantry from nearby Fort Hood. Carter met Robert on a visit to Iraq to posed for a photograph with him.


Harrell said she supports the troops but believes President Bush’s policies in the war have failed.

Although she believes the United States will have a troop presence in Iraq for a long time, she would support a large United Nations peacekeeping force that would allow most American troops to leave.

“We have a failed policy in Iraq,” she said. “The only way to change it is to change the leadership that supports it.”