After Gov. Rick Perry’s successful bid for re-election was announced Tuesday, some students across campus were disappointed, but felt the outcome was expected.
Many students who lined up to vote outside the Flawn Academic Center expressed support for Democratic candidates. Out of 853 total votes cast at Precinct 148, the FAC, 570 votes went to Bill White, while 240 went to Perry, 23 to Green Party candidate Deb Shafto and 20 to Libertarian Kathie Glass.
Plan II freshman Arsalan Eftekhar said although the campus may have gone to Democratic candidate Bill White, Perry won because Texas as a whole is a conservative state.
“But here on campus, students are overly Democratic,” he said. “If White won, I think kids would be taught to think critically and analytically versus just being taught what’s on the test. Perry’s main focus is teaching what’s on the test, White’s more in it for education.”
Incumbent Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst also defeated challenger Linda Chavez-Thompson handily, but students were more focused on the gubernatorial race.
They felt that Democratic candidates offered more helpful suggestions for issues that relate directly to them, such as education.
“I expected the election to go mostly in the Republican direction,” said math freshman Gabe Earle. “I voted for White because the issue that I was well-informed on was making college affordable, and that might lead to increased grants or loans, and I thought that would be helpful.”
Students said educational assistance was a big concern as they cast their votes.
“I’m disappointed that Texans stuck with the same governor,” said mechanical engineering freshman Vineet Raman. “Perry has been governor for the past 10 years and we don’t have much to show for it. I think White was a better candidate because he was willing to tackle the deficit and focus on education because Texas is falling behind other states.”
John Chapman, advertising senior and spokesman of College Republicans, said that job creation and the economy are the issues voters have focused on lately.
“For students especially, we’re about to graduate and want to be certain that we have secure and stable jobs waiting for us,” Chapman said. “People are seeing that Texas is a great place to work, do business and raise a family. Four out of five private sector jobs in the nation have been created in Texas since 2005, and we are the number one state to do business. A lot of that has to do with both leadership of governor Perry and the state of Texas as a whole.”
Even for students who support White, some feel that Perry’s victory was inevitable.
“Even if a stronger Democratic candidate would come in, Perry would still beat him,” said Leilani Kelley, a government and political communications junior. “People love his policies and what they perceive as his character. He has a very strong base and I think he will continue to win until he stops running.”