Skip navigation.
The Texas Blue
Advancing Progressive Ideas

On The Record: John Cullar

For this episode of On The Record, we speak with John Cullar, County Chair for the McLennan County Democratic Party.

What was your personal progression from the role of activist to the role of county chair?

I began as a precinct chair and served as an election judge for several years in the mid-1980s. In 1988, I was elected to the SDEC and served until 1996.

In 1995, our county chair resigned, and the Executive Committee appointed me to serve his unexpired term. I have been elected every two years since 1996 to continue as county chair.

What would you say are the primary issues concerning McLennan County?

The Trans Texas Corridor and the coal plants proposed for and being built in Central Texas are immediate problems for the residents of McLennan County. There is considerable opposition to both the TTC and the coal plants, with no visible or identifiable local supporters.

Like many other areas, the war in Iraq, the economy, education and health care are major issues, too.

Do you have any ambition for higher office? Do you have plans to run for any other party
office, or possibly even public office?

The thought is there if the right opportunity presented itself. But there are certain times, when I see the sausage of politics being made, and I have second thoughts.

I do not have specific plans to run, but I would never rule it out, either.

What are you looking forward to in the coming cycle?

I am looking forward to harnessing the enthusiasm generated across the county with the presidential race.

The number of enthusiastic and active Democrats now is such that the real goal for me is to use effectively that enthusiasm and energy to turn out the vote for Democrats in November.

What has been your most challenging moment as county chair, so far?

The biggest challenge was having then-Governor Bush move into the county shortly before he ran for president. When Bush decided to build his ranch house here and become a McLennan County resident, a good number of otherwise reasonable people decided they were for their neighbor, George W, and his party, right or wrong.

Prior to 2000, we never had a Republican elected to a countywide office in McLennan County. But, beginning in 2000, we had candidates who previously had been Democrats -- and would have won as Democrats -- run on the Republican ticket to catch a ride on Bush’s coattails.

I’m not sure the same candidates would make the same decision today, and I’m certain the coattails are gone. I couldn’t be any happier now that we know the Bush library and the post-presidential residence will be in Dallas. I just hope he can find a buyer for the ranch.

Syndicate content