Inside The Sandlin Campaign - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/23/04-Tyler

Inside The Sandlin Campaign

The hustle and bustle of a busy campaign is apparent before you even walk in the door. It's the headquarters of the Smith County Democrats, where the Max Sandlin campaign rents space.

"It's exciting because they accept everybody," Brenda Hillmon, a volunteer, said. "I came in and said, look, I want to volunteer. And everybody said, yeah, here can you do this? Yes, I can do that."

"Campaign Office. This is Romeo speaking. How may I help you?" Romeo Arrieta, in charge of Voter Outreach, answers the phone.

Volunteers of all ages have taken over the building.

"We saw a need to volunteer in this election more so than any other election that we have had," Hillmon said.

Hillmon is volunteering because she's concerned about prescription drug coverage for her elderly mother.

"I'm a Democrat and I'm concerned about the direction that our country is going in," she said. "Max has some very sound ideas."

Michael Falzone is a grad student at UT-Tyler.

"Ever since redistricting, we just wanted to make sure we could do our best to fight back and get Max back in office," Falzone said.

He says his hard work is paying off.

"Seeing progress and hearing about polls that we're succeeding and we're able to get the word out, that's really good," Falzone said. "It keeps us all energized and coming back the next day."

"It's incredibly hectic," Jim Dow, field director, said. "I couldn't tell you how many hours we work a week."

Dow says he spends five hours a day just answering phone calls and responding to e-mails. Luckily, he has the help of hundreds of volunteers throughout the district.

"Lots of nice people and people that want to help," Dow said. "And it's very gratifying."

Their focus: keeping their man in office and hopefully, celebrating a win.

Last night, we took you behind the scenes of Louie Gohmert's campaign. Election Day is November 2. Early voting begins October 18.

Julie Tam, reporting.

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