Conservative group campaigns for party, does not endorse specific candidate

Andrew Messamore

Members of the UT chapter of the Young Conservatives of Texas are still driving local politics in Austin and around the state, despite the ongoing deadlock in the national Republican primary race.

The Young Conservatives of Texas-UT chapter is currently campaigning in local elections using block walking, phone banking and other campaign activities to support their endorsed candidates, said Jenna White, Young Conservatives of Texas chapter chairwoman. The organization has not endorsed a national candidate and is individually divided regarding which Republican candidate should receive the presidential nomination. Newt Gingrich recently surged to headlines across the country after winning in the South Carolina primary, keeping the GOP nomination process in the air as Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum continue to fight for the national prize.

“I think personal attacks between the candidates are taking away from a message that’s directed at Obama’s record,” White said. “On the other hand, we could look at this as simply vetting the candidates. I have a feeling there won’t be any skeletons left for the Obama campaign to find in the Republican nominee’s closet.”

White said the most important relation between the primaries and November is that Republicans get behind the eventual nominee as someone who can contrast himself with President Obama’s failed policies.

Along with other political groups, YCT is fighting the recent redistricting that has pushed the Texas primary into students’ final exam time. White said that the district shift is hurting the student vote and diminishing the larger youth vote.

“YCT supports Attorney General [Greg] Abbott in fighting for the redistricting maps that were drawn by our elected officials rather than by judges,” White said. “What it’s really done to us is make it harder to know exactly where the districts will be, making it harder for candidates to know exactly where they are running. We have to wait to issue our endorsements and work for the candidates.”