When Andy Cargile, a retired school principal from Hurst, declared his intent to challenge taxpayer champion Jonathan Stickland, we had certain expectations about how the campaign would go. We learned early on that Cargile was being backed by a local moderate puppeteer and an early visit to the Austin Club reinforced our expectation that Cargile would be no threat to the political establishment in Austin. Mostly though, we assumed that with his grey hair and his education credentials, Cargile would be mature enough to campaign on the issues – maybe with a bit of a heavy emphasis on education.
Cargile’s decision to resort instead to schoolyard taunts and name-calling has been extremely amusing to watch, if not a bit nauseating as well.
In one of his first press releases, Andy Cargile came out of the gate calling Stickland “immature” and “childish.” Cargile went on to tell Stickland to “straighten up” and “act like an adult.” This was all in a futile attempt to deflect from criticism of Cargile’s botched campaign launch, which included endorsements from a number of local officials who have supported Wendy Davis over her Republican opponents.
It appears Cargile can’t shake the condescending tone a principal uses when scolding his pupils. But it strikes the reader as a bit out-of-place when he’s addressing a sitting state representative, small business owner, and father of two.
The personal attacks haven’t stopped, they’ve only picked up. Stickland has been attacked in nearly every press release by the Andy Cargile campaign for working previously as a pest control technician. Cargile chooses to attack an entire profession despite the fact that Stickland has run a successful oil and gas consulting business for many years.
This week, Andy Cargile’s campaign attacked Stickland, alleging that he was a “high school dropout.” More notably, however, the campaign tried to imply that Stickland was “dishonest” about the issue. In reality, Stickland’s campaign website makes clear that he attended high school in Birdville ISD before leaving to get his GED and go to college.
Cargile’s fabrication of issues and name-calling are all more stark in light of Stickland’s success post-school as a successful small business owner and family man. After all, the man is a Sunday school teacher. But I guess those are the breaks when a challenger can’t say anything negative about an incumbent’s record. Stickland has a rock-solid conservative record and earned a 100% on the Fiscal Responsibility Index.
When Cargile declared for office, he said that the “community deserve[s] serious and respected leadership instead of … childish antics.” It is apparent that Andy Cargile has already failed to live up to that campaign promise.