Morales Supports Republican Candidate - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/14/02

Morales Supports Republican Candidate

He ran as a Democrat against Tony Sanchez for Texas governor, but on Monday, Lubbock Democrats are calling him a turncoat. Former gubernatorial candidate Dan Morales announced his support for Rick Perry in Lubbock on Monday. So why is Morales switching his party support just days before the polls open?

Dan Morales rolled into Lubbock to explain his endorsement of Rick Perry to West Texans. He's a Democrat, but in this race, Morales says the Republican candidate is the best choice. Local Democrats were appalled with his decision.

"I think it's real important in this election to put politics and partisanship aside in favor of supporting the candidate that is most qualified for this job -- in terms of qualifications, experience, and accomplishment," said Dan Morales.

Dan Morales says the option is crystal clear, and Rick Perry is the right man for the job.

"I think more and more Texans are concerned about Mr. Sanchez' effort, seemingly to attempt to purchase the office of governor of Texas -- this office is not for sale. It should be earned, and I think by his leadership, his experience, and his accomplishments, Governor Perry has earned it," Morales said.

Morales says the Democratic party of Texas is making a mistake by supporting Tony Sanchez. He says Sanchez is dividing Texas by race and ethnicity.

"He sees on the one hand Texans, and on the other hand, he sees Hispanic Texans who need their own separate language and own separate policy to get into public colleges and universities at lower standards. I just do not believe the citizens of Texas will support that device approach. I think we need leaders like Governor Perry who recognize that you ought to be judged based upon your qualifications, your merit, and your preparedness for the position," said Morales.

Local Democrats were disappointed with Morales' announcement showing up to protest.

"He's a turncoat. That's the bottom line. He was a Democrat, but now, his turn to support Governor Perry makes him a turncoat," said Irma Guerrero, Lubbock County Democratic Chair.

People on the street, however, respect the decision.

"They have the right to make up their mind and choose who that want to choose to vote for."

"Well, I admire a man that will vote for the man instead of the party because I believe in that myself."

Morales wants the people of West Texas to know the truth. He says Tony Sanchez is leading Hispanics and Democrats down the wrong road. Meanwhile, a Tony Sanchez spokesman said Morales is irrelevant to the race and has been rejected by Texas voters.

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