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October 27, 2011

Dems honor Deshotel during Turn Texas Blue

BEAUMONT — During a night to turn Texas blue, local Democrats honored long serving District 22 state Rep. Joe Deshotel for his work serving the people of Southeast Texas.

Deshotel, who represents constituents in portions of Orange and Jefferson County, has served 14 years in the Legislature as a Democrat.

“I am very honored to represent this area,” he said.

Deshotel’s work in the Legislature was acknowledged during the Progressive Democrats of Southeast Texas Turn Texas Blue banquet Thursday.

The event celebrated the principals of the Democratic Party and encouraged members to urge others to vote with the party they described as “the people of America.”

“The mission is to energize and mobilize the Democratic Party,” Gilbert T. Adams, chairman of the Jefferson County Democratic Party, said.

Former state Sen. Carl Parker introduced Deshotel.

“He’s one of the good guys in the Legislature,” Parker said. “He’s been innovative, he’s been loyal.”

Parker said early in Deshotel’s career he was picked by his peers to be a rising star, and he has not disappointed.

“The Democratic Party is very important to the Country,” Deshotel said. “We have very serious issues facing the nation right now.”

Deshotel thanked his wife and family for allowing him to spend time away from home to do the people’s work.

During the 14 years as representative, Deshotel has served seven terms. Each term takes him away from home for about six months, he said.

“Public office is a great honor and a great responsibility,” he said. “People trust you and all politicians should remember that.”

Vice Chairman of the Democratic National Committee Linda Chavez-Thompson served as keynote speaker for the night.

Chavez was elected to the AFL-CIO Executive Council and two years later was elected as executive vice president of the AFL-CIO.

She has served as the elected vice chair of the Democratic National Committee since 1997.

In 2010, she ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor of Texas as the Democratic candidate.

“While I might not ever run for political office again, it was one of the most wonderful experiences in my life,” she said. “It was great to talk to the people about the issues.”

She cited a lack of leadership in the state as the reason that Texas is ranked low in so many areas such as education and social services.

“We have to do something and we have to do it differently. We have to educate and talk to others,” she said.

skoonce@panews.com

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