Against Backdrop Of Trump Rallies, Texas Democrats To Gather | KERA News

Against Backdrop Of Trump Rallies, Texas Democrats To Gather

Jun 16, 2016

As Donald Trump hosts rallies Thursday and Friday in Dallas and Houston, as many as 10,000 staunch anti-Trump Democrats are expected to gather in San Antonio for the state party's three-day convention.


"We call on everyone this election year to push back on Donald Trump's hateful rhetoric," party spokesman Tariq Thowfeek said. "Our families deserve better and more."

Comments from state Democrats over the past few weeks indicate the party will use its annual convention to link the divisive real estate mogul to the Texas GOP and emphasize some of his more controversial remarks to galvanize supporters against Republicans in state and local elections.

Among the slated convention speakers, U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela, D-Brownsville, may draw the most attention after making national headlines earlier this month for penning an open letter telling Trump to “take your border wall and shove it up your ass.”

"Our convention is about defending hardworking families," Thowfeek said. "These families don't like hateful rhetoric about Mexican judges and the comments he made calling Mexicans rapists."

Party officials also plan to spotlight the Castro brothers, who have long been two of the most prominent Hispanics on the national stage. U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro will be a keynote speaker, and his twin brother, U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro of San Antonio, is the convention's chairman.

Julián Castro, a former San Antonio mayor, has been frequently touted as a possible running mate for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Even though Clinton has earned enough delegates to clinch the nomination, supporters of her primary rival, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, still intend to make their voices heard at the convention.

Jacob Limon, Sanders’ Texas state director, said Sanders' supporters will push party officials to adopt some of the senator’s campaign policy proposals, including a $15-per-hour federal minimum wage.

"The revolution that Sen. Sanders started is larger than any one person, and we must work with all Texas Democrats to ensure that we build the pillars of that revolution together, beginning this week," Limon said.

He added that Sanders' base of support has the power to significantly build the party's reach as long as its voice is heard.

"Ninety percent of the people who are involved in our campaign were taking part in their political future for the very first time," Limon said.

The Texas Tribune provided this story.