Old Rich White Guys in the GOP? Not Everyone

Piercings, tattoos, long-haired conservatives replace GOP stereotype

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Throw out the old stereotypes of Texas Republicans, the face of the GOP is changing in the Lone Star State.

    There's a stereotype about Texas Republicans -- that they're old, rich and white.

    In all honesty, some member of the state GOP are old, rich and white -- but not all of them.

    Just walk around the Texas GOP convention in Fort Worth, and you might confuse some members as "progressives" based on their looks.

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    Texas Democratic party leaders are rallying their supporters at the Texas Democratic Convention in Houston as they try to build their party from the ground up to win more elections.

    Jeff Lane lives in Huntsville in Walker County. His long beard and arm tattoos might make you think he punches a Democratic ticket, but you'd be wrong.

    "I'm a Goldwater Republican. I believe in limited government," Lane said while holding a Ron Paul campaign sign.

    Then there's Malcolm West. The University of Houston student, who is black, said he doesn't like it when people automatically assume he votes for Democrats.

    "We find that offensive, because it shuts down your brain, that you should automatically vote for something that has a 'D' next to it," he said.

    West proudly states he's head of the University of Houston Young Conservatives. When asked how people react when he tells them that he's politically active in GOP politics, he said it varies.

    "They're interested, like, 'Oh, wow, really?'" West said.

    Ross Owen was wearing khaki pants and cowboy boots. The Dallas Republican fits in with the established crowd, but he's accepting of the newer blood in the party.

    "If the Republican Party wants to remain relevant vibrant and growing, it needs to grow and embrace young people," he said."When they all gather around the idea of freedom and liberty, those are the kinds of ideas to bring people together, so that's easy to embrace for everyone."