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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
October 20, 2010     Hays Free Press
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October 20, 2010

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Page 6A NEWS Hays Free Press October 20, 2010 * Political Wives: The power behind the podium Continued from pg. 1A "It's somewhat like being a pastor's spouse," Xaite said. "It's a job that's too big for one person to do." She intersperses recollections of Houston's humanitarian aid during Hurricane Katrina and school dropout prevention programs with snippets of advice: Keep your speeches short when you're the only thing stand- ing between the audience and the open bar. If your kid has brought a cold home from school, don't feel bad about telling people you can't shake their hand. And be prepared to have dear friends get seriously mad at you about the traffic. The Hays Free Press caught up with White and asked her to share her ad- vice to other political spouses on the campaign trail. "Just keep your sense of humor," White said. "It's your life, so figure out how to enjoy it. You're doing things perhaps outside of your comfort zone. You may not like it in every aspect, but you're going to grow. And at the end of the day you're going to look back on it and say, 'that was great.'" That seemed like good advice to Hays County residents supporting their spouses in a bid for public office. Kerri Jones, wife of GOP Pct. 2 com- missioners court candidate and cur- rent Hays CISD school board trustee Mark Jones, said the campaign experi- ence has been positive so far. "I love being in groups of people, and I really love seeing all sides of the parties, Republicans and Democrats, working together," Jones said. For many of the families on the campaign trail, one of .the biggest pressures is simply the time crunch. Every week brings a seemingly end: less string of events, fundraisers and ribbon cuttings to attend, in between block-walking, making calls and mun- dane details like the jobs that pay me mortgage. And while a municipal election may require a significant time commit- ment, the larger constituencies and land mass of a county level race can only up the ante. Sandra Bryant, wife of Pct. 2 com- missioner's candidate and former Kyle Councilmember Ray Bryant, said the family knew the county race would be more challenging. "How do I balance things?Very care- fully" Bryant said. 's women we wear many hats." In addition to working as a legal as- sistant in the UT systems, Bryant is taking six hours of college credit to- ward a bachelor's degree in criminal justice. The couple use text messaging and Facebook to keep up with their three teenagers, as well as sit-down family dinners as often as possible. Nowadays, a political spouse can easily be a husband or a wife, and ei- ther one is likely to have their own professional commitments. In addi- PHOTO BY JEN BIUNDO Andrea White, the wife of gubernatorial candidate Bill White, visited with Texas Pie Co. owner Julie Alberts last week while on the campaign trail in Kyle for her husband, tion to having three children, one still living at home, Jones is a teacher at Kyle Elementary School and serves on numerous committees. "We did sit down and talk about it," Joizes said. "I said that I would be able to support him and help him, but I also have my job. I'm not going to be the wife that can be at every event and every party. He would have to go without me sometimes because of our busy lives." It's crucial to have a support system in place, Bryant said, and also take breaks to remember that there is a life outside of politics. Still, the political race brings a new social network. "It's very eye-opening," Bryant said. "You get to meet so many people, and I'm a people person. That's what keeps me going." For families, the hardest part can be the mudslinging that often accom- panies a hard-fought race. Their Pct. 2 race has been easier, Jones said, be- cause it's stayed civil. "It's really been very positive be- tween the candidates," Jones said. "I talked to Ray's wife and we're cordial. Mark feels like he's qualified for the job and he would really like to be able to serve the county. That doesn't mean that Ray is not qualified or we have to tear each other down." Mary Etheredge, the wife of former Hays County Judge Eddy Etheredge, agreed that negative campaigning can be one of the biggest challenges for a political spouse. "The bad part of it, of course, is lis- tening to people tell lies about some- body you care about," Etheredge said. 'nd that probably happens to every- body." From the 1970s through the 1990s, Mary Etheredge supported her hus- band through two city council elec- tions and four races, two successful, for Hays County judge. "It's kind of a funny quirky thing to watch. You learn about people from it, some good and some bad," Etheredge said. "Just don't take it all too seriously. It's all going to be over pretty soon. Just try to stay afloat while you're there." llli ilili !: I PHOTO BY LINCOLN RAMIREZ Happy Birthday, Kylo Miss Teen Kyle Michaela Castillo and Miss Kyle Jessica Cantu were on-hand to help celebrate the city's 130th birthday at the Kyle Fair and Music Festival this weekend. h dp 122 295-9444 MORE Street * Downtown Buda :. ..... Open Everyday 295-6008 L A W OFFICE OF FamityLawMediator Coltaboradtz L Attorne  i ! l  i !!iiliii!',i?Ji!i00 906 CanyonWren Drive Buda, Texas www.yourtexasattorney, corn hoose the life insurance best suit your needs: to pay off a mortgage loan unds ations of ANCIAL PAVIHON *  :..:. 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