Politics Take Back Seat to Ike

Partisanship goes out the window in wake of storm

As the cleanup from Hurricane Ike continues, candidates from all sides in the heaviest-hit areas are slowly balancing restarting their suspended campaigns, assisting evacuees, and dealing with the terrible personal damage that they suffered. "It's a huge battleground, from a political viewpoint, but most everyone has laid off campaigning," said Republican Party of Texas spokesman Hans Klingler. Both U.S. Sen. John Cornyn and challenger Rep. Rick Noriega, D-Houston, quietly laid off throwing barbs for several days. Others felt the storm damage directly, with the house of Rep. Craig Eiland, D-Galveston, reportedly destroyed. In Senate District 11, the homes of both incumbent Republican Mike Jackson and Democratic challenger Joe Jaworski suffered severe flood damage. Jaworski and his family have relocated to Houston, where the former Galveston council member is helping his fellow evacuees while getting ready to campaign again. "We're kinda doing a dual thing at the moment," said Jaworski campaign manager Angie Patterson, who still hasn't been able to visit her own flood-damaged apartment. "It's been nice to see everyone come together to get through this."

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