On The Record: Neil Durrance
Thu, 07/05/2007 - 1:09pm
For this episode of On The Record, we speak with Neil Durrance, Denton County Democratic Party Chair.
How did you get started in politics? Did you come to it in your youth or later on?
In 3rd grade I came home with a set of LBJ buttons, and that’s when I became aware that people ran for office through elections.
What was your personal progression from the role of activist to the role of County Chair?
I became interested in politics and ran a mock Presidential election in high school. Since I became involved, I have always been a Democrat and active in the Democratic Party.
In 1990, I ran for County Commissioner in Denton County, and then I was elected to two city council terms in Denton.
I have always attended county and state conventions, and I was elected as Chair of the party in Denton County after the former Chair resigned.
What would you say are the primary issues concerning Denton County?
The primary issue for Denton County is having an open and honest government. It has to become open with the people and become responsive to the needs of the community.
Other issues for the area are going to be important for many years, like health care for our citizens. Personal and professional responsibilities of elected officials are also growing issues.
What are you looking forward to in the coming cycle?
A Democratic victory on a national level, a Congressional level, and locally. We currently have the best crop of candidates than we have in a long time, from the White House to state House to local seats, and we’re going to continue to have qualified candidates for years to come.
It is important to support good candidates that hold Democratic values like open government and personal integrity. This has been lacking for many years from all levels of government.
Who are some of your political heroes?
Lyndon B. Johnson is obviously a political hero.
Adlai Stevenson is also a political hero, because he brought a sense of public integrity to office. He was accountable to the people, and he ignored special interests. He also looked at the greater good for the whole, which is almost a by-gone feature today.
Sam Rayburn and Huey Long are also political heroes of mine.
Do you have any ambition for higher office? Do you have plans to run for any other party office, or possibly even public office?
I have always believed the first step to higher office is doing a good job where you’re at.
The current administration is based on loyalty. “You’re doing a heck of a job, Brownie” is a quote that comes to mind in respect to this issue.
Like the playoffs, you can’t look ahead of the game you’re playing. I am accountable to the people that elected me in Denton County, and that is the job I am focusing on right now.