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The Texas Blue
Advancing Progressive Ideas

On The Record: Paul Harper

For this episode of On The Record, we speak with Paul Harper, County Chair for the Somervell County Democratic Party.

What were the biggest challenges you faced during the Texas primary?

One of the biggest, since it is my first primary as county chair, was making sure I did everything right. I got the notices out, filled out the paperwork, worked with the clerk’s office and made sure everyone was paid.

Some other big challenges were personally staying out of the race, staying focused on keeping people involved but not at each other’s throats, and reading/knowing all the rules.

It was a very heated primary, especially during the county convention, many issues and tense discussions came up during the process but we got through it and completed our business.

What are you looking forward to in the coming cycle?

I am looking forward to everyone getting behind the Democratic presidential nominee and a Democratic led Congress. I hope that there will be health care legislation passed that covers everyone. In addition, I look forward to a focus on wind and solar energy through development incentives and stopping subsidies given to the oil companies.

What advice would you give to young people just getting into politics?

My advice is to learn as much as you can about the political process and the rules. It is important to understand the rules because they are the foundation from which you build your infrastructure.

Keep the rules fair, play by them, and accept defeat when it comes. Live to fight another day, and do not burn too many bridges, even though some are better burnt. When you follow the rules, you have nothing to hide.

What one thing would you say a political organization never has enough of?

Organizations need people, specifically volunteers. Yet, there are never enough people to help. Some leaders say money is the most important thing, but I believe that if you have a strong ground organization, you don’t need a lot of money, at least on a small scale.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in politics?

The most valuable lesson I’ve learned in politics is that you will need a consensus of people to get anything done. Working together is the key to driving any type of change or agenda to move something forward. People can peacefully disagree in debate and compromise to an extent that is semi-amicable to all or most parties.

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