National Convention Affects Local Races Throughout the Country

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Travis County Tax Assessor Candidate Vik Vad Explains Political Ramifications

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"The media plays up the big names, and the staggering amounts of money raised, but the smaller campaigns make do with help from local donors, volunteers, and concerned citizens that often spread the message by word of mouth."

With the delegates in place, the media ready to provide full coverage, a lineup of distinguished speakers, and a festive atmosphere, the Republican National Convention was off to a grand start earlier this week. The Republican and Democratic conventions in presidential election years traditionally kick off the campaign lead up to the general election in November. At these conventions, the Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees for each party are finalized, and the media broadcasts the coverage all over the world. "The National Convention is what really unites the party, and wraps up the primary season," states Vik Vad, the Republican candidate for Travis County Tax Assessor, in central Texas. "Here, the delegates chosen from each state finally converge to wrap up party business, and hear elected officials and party luminaries speak."

The theme for Tuesday was honoring the drive and determination of America's job creators and the millions of hard-working men and women who make the United States so exceptional. Speakers included Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, U.S. Senate Candidate Ted Cruz, and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. On Wednesday, the theme of the convention was "We Can Change It," as dignitaries such as former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, Condoleezza Rice, and Rep. Paul Ryan, the Vice Presidential nominee spoke. They reminded the crowd that high unemployment, deep debt, and a stagnant economy were unacceptable, and that Presidential nominee Mitt Romney's approach to solving these problems is optimistic and achievable. Romney will give his acceptance speech this evening to become the GOP contender for President of the United States.

Local government candidates feel the effects of the National Convention, since the public begins to pay closer attention to politics, and the mood and tone of individual campaigns changes in anticipation of the final showdown on Election Day, which falls on November 6th this year. "Most citizens' interactions with the government are actually at the local level," says Vik Vad. "Your day to day life is very much affected by property taxes, and annual tasks, such as vehicle registration, whereas the issues at the national level are a bit more vague, and may not affect you as much individually."

Furthermore, local campaigns are often run on small budgets, and rely on grassroots supporters in order to flourish. "The media plays up the big names, and the staggering amounts of money raised," continues Vad, "but the smaller campaigns make do with help from local donors, volunteers, and concerned citizens that often spread the message by word of mouth." Many times the candidates themselves play multiple roles, from speaking at events, to organizing their own campaigns. "I get to be my own campaign manager, social media guy, and fundraiser all rolled into one," laughs Vik Vad. "But I enjoy it, I believe in what I do, and I am humbled by the opportunity to serve the residents of Travis County to the best of my ability."

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Nick Kulkarni, Communications Director
Vik Vad for Texas
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