As the tension and excitement from midterms finally comes to a close, I’ve had the opportunity to reflect on my involvement in Chip Roy’s campaign in Texas’s 21st congressional district.
Though I attend school in San Angelo and live in Mike Conaway’s congressional district, I was offered the opportunity to engage voters through blockwalking and phone banking for Chip Roy in an important race against Democrat Joseph Kopser. Having never worked on a campaign before, I was excited to be part of this deployment and get a taste of what “real politics” are like. The dynamic was impactful and increased my sense of respect for those who do this more regularly.
Elections are often seen as a snore to the apolitical crowd, as those who don’t engage don’t know what it takes in terms of campaigning to get someone elected. While I don’t claim to now be an expert, I can affirm that the process requires dedication beyond measure.
I rolled into San Antonio the Thursday evening before election day, and got started right away on Friday morning. After some quick training on blockwalking and how to handle the app we were using, I was ready to engage some voters on my own. Having familiarized myself with Chip’s conservative platform beforehand, I felt good about representing him and his campaign as I went door to door in Bexar County.
While most of the people I ended up talking to had already voted, the concern of many seemed to be the issue of abortion. Chip Roy’s position is clear and easily articulated, as he believes in preserving and protecting life. Because of this, he received endorsements from both Texas Right to Life and National Right to Life. As I explained this to those who inquired, I knew it would compel voters who felt strongly on this issue to get to the polls if they had not already. Later on, our team was lucky enough to meet Chip for lunch, where our respect for his authenticity and principles was solidified.
Reaching these voters takes dedication from both staff and volunteers. It is by no means appealing to walk hundreds of miles over the course of election season in order to get out the vote, but it is beyond effective in cultivating a culture to get voter turnout. That’s what campaigning is all about. It’s one of the few industries that can’t be outsourced or replaced with automation. It requires boots on the ground, inspired people willing to sacrifice time to achieve change for the greater good. It is something that requires you to care.
Blockwalking during the days leading up to an election will naturally put you into contact with an eclectic mixture of people- dedicated voters, people who couldn’t care less, people who just want this whole politics thing to be over. All of it comes down to election day, which I spent with fellow supporters of Chip Roy who were hoping for the best while working the polls in San Antonio. Few people come to the polls willing to change their mind, though we were willing to engage people if need be.
After our hours of walking, making phone calls, and growing to really care about the outcome of this campaign, the watch party in New Braunfels began. Though Chip Roy was projected to win, we couldn’t help but feel ecstatic when he got up on stage to make the announcement that his victory was looking pretty clear. The feeling of seeing the work you pour into something like this pay off is hard to articulate, but it is phenomenal, to say the least.
I’m not from San Antonio, and won’t officially be represented by Chip Roy, but I’ll always have a special sense of respect for his office. He is beyond principled and I have no doubt that he will take his role in Washington, D.C. seriously. I also have a new sense of respect for those who dedicate countless hours working hard to get the most respectable leaders elected, and I look forward to seeing Chip represent Texans with our values in mind in the U.S. House of Representatives.
I’ll never forget the hard work I put into this, and the great results that followed. While we aren’t always promised a victory, understanding the sense of dedication that goes into getting someone like Chip Roy is a lesson that can only be learned by going through it. And the few days I had to learn this dynamic will serve me as I grow and cultivate my career, whether or not it be political.