HOUSTON – Will Mitt Romney’s pick for running mate alter local election outcomes? Conservatives believe so.
Under a green umbrella outside a northwest Houston coffee house, excitement outshined the sun. Conservatives were celebrating Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan as the Republican vice-presidential nominee.
"The pick finally solidifies the race and makes things interesting," said Peggy Price, a voter.
"I think it’s a tremendous pick, actually," said Jim Hartman, another voter.
"I don’t think it could have been the best pick, but I think it was a smart pick," said Chris Carmona, another voter.
Some consider Ryan the Republican antidote to President Obama and someone able to alter outcomes in state and municipal elections in Texas, particularly in Harris County.
"(Ryan) is energetic," said Lana Shadwick, a Republican. "He will appeal to those 30- and 40-somethings."
"Someone who knows how to put things together that actually work excites me," said Jim Hartman. "(The selection of Ryan) excites me and I have problems with some of the things Mitt Romney has done."
"Here in Harris County, we have very critical races," said Bob Price of Texasgopvote.com. "We’ve got the sheriff’s race. We’ve got the district attorney’s race. We’ve got a great slate of judicial candidates that are running and this will bring out the base to get those people elected."
"I don’t know anything about Paul Ryan," said Victor Perez, who supports President Obama.
Not everyone knows Ryan and there are certainly critics of his selection.
"(I don’t like Ryan) because I feel that the current president that we have now is being consistent and is getting things done," Perez said.
"From my experiences, I don’t think VP’s do much other than trying to win some votes," said Jose Garza, another Obama supporter.
"What’s interesting here is most Democrats and Republicans are happy about this choice," said KHOU 11 News political analyst Bob Stein. "Somebody’s wrong."
Stein said Democrats want to see President Obama’s vision for social services debated against what they believe Ryan represents as Chairman of the House budget committee.
"Ryan, a long time ago, was sort of a pariah in the Republican party, attacked by Newt Gingrich at one point," Stein said. "Economic conservatives have come around, but Democrats like this because it gives them, they think, (a chance) at saying we have this, you the Republicans (and) Romney have (that)."
Harris County’s Democratic Party is hoping to gain members through Romney’s pick. In their statement, they accuse Romney of caving to the radical right. They then urged seniors and middle class families to join the Democratic Party.