Houston Matters

Tomato Republic: Documentary Chronicles Small-Town Politics

Election Day is just six days away, and maybe you’re exhausted with the campaign ads for the governor’s or lieutenant governor’s races. Or maybe you’ve learned to just tune them out. After all, campaigning seems to start earlier and earlier every election cycle. We’re all pretty used to how campaigns are run at the national […]

Election Day is just six days away, and maybe you’re exhausted with the campaign ads for the governor’s or lieutenant governor’s races. Or maybe you’ve learned to just tune them out. After all, campaigning seems to start earlier and earlier every election cycle. We’re all pretty used to how campaigns are run at the national and state levels.

But a new documentary called Tomato Republic digs deeper into a much smaller – and somewhat old-fashioned – campaign: last year’s race for mayor of Jacksonville, Texas. The town of about 15,000 people about 30 miles south of Tyler saw a rare hotly contested race with a couple of unusual candidates – at least for small-town East Texas.

Jenna Jackson is one of the producers of the film. She’s a native of Jacksonville who now lives in Houston, and she tells Houston Matters’ Michael Hagerty that her friend in Jacksonville told her she really needed to take a closer look at the race. But she was still reluctant.

Tomato Republic airs tonight at 10 on Houston Public Media TV 8.

Tomato Republic Trailer from P+R Productions on Vimeo.

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Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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