Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Betcha thought you'd crossed the Brazos at Waco...

Waco – Don't bet your boots until you hear a Texas Ranger like Matt Cawthon introduce one of his running buddies as a candidate for Sheriff of McLennan County.

“He's tough as nails, straight as a string, and the right man for the job,” the Ranger bellowed, and the 200 friends and supporters surrounding the stone steps of the Courthouse clapped and cheered for Parnell McNamara.

He's a lawman out of the old school. A brother to a fellow Deputy U.S. Marshal, Mike; son of T.P. McNamara, Sr., the former U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Texas, father, grandfather and firearms instructor to the people of Waco and Central Texas; accomplished horseman; big game hunter with dozens of African safaris to his credit.

Did I mention he's a fifth generation Texan?

This is the real deal.

For instance, Marshal Cawthon, a retired Ranger, is still riding with the Marshals' fugitive squad.

“He's one of the pit bulls of that dreaded federal fugitive warrant squad you may have heard of,” said Mr. McNamara.

The funny thing is, this home town Baylor grad and all-around lawman made it sound like a high recommendation, this thing of being one of Uncle Sam's pit bulls.

Y'all ain't got but one riot and the mess we done got ourselves in now?

Yes, sir, it's all true, and what's more, Mr. McNamara is there to back it up. Here is where the myth, the ethos, the legend meets the reality, and it plays out just fine on a brilliantly lit noon time lawn under the deep shade of native pecans beside a sparkling Victorian-era beaux arts palace of justice with a wedding cake double dome and lots of fancy sculpture to top it off.

Did I mention the friendliest people and the prettiest women you've ever seen?

Just feels right.

So, what's it all about? “Drugs are usually the snake in the grass,” he told a cheering crowd.” The carjackings, armed robberies, home invasions, burglaries, crimes of passion. Chalk it up to drugs.

But there is a role for the Sheriff's Department besides just law enforcement, serving warrants, court security, disposing of foreclosed property, and prisoner custody.

It's a much bigger role, and Mr. McNamara squares his shoulders in the cool and gusty breeze and launches into those few words that make people stop, look and listen.

“The Sheriff's Department belongs to the people. It's not like the other agencies; it's the voice of the people.”

We the people, who have done so much with so little for so long...

We're talking posses, a well-ordered militia, the bedrock of the Republic. Some things just come naturally.

Campaign headquarters are at the Bosqueville Community Center.

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