San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

November 5th, 2010
Commentary: Reaction from Hooper, van Oudekerke

Editor’s note: The 2010 San Marcos city council election ended in defeat for Toby Hooper, who lost his race to Jude Prather, and Rodney van Oudekerke, who lost his race to Shane Scott. Below, we offer the statements made by Hooper and van Oudekerke in the wake of the election. First, Hooper’s response is given, followed by van Oudekerke.


I want to thank you all for your support – It was an honor.

The campaign was a fascinating experience. I met people from all over the city who have great ideas and, of course, many who have grave concerns.

Although the outcome was not what we desired, I walk away from the campaign with a clear conscience; nothing I did, nor action I took, was dishonorable. I took no money from organizations expecting favors and I declined offers that conflicted with my ethics. And, the two major donors to the campaign were my father and grandfather – their unexpected contributions caused me to beam with pride.

Taking note and reflecting, I realized that the campaign occurred within the window of a mere 60 days and garnered 48 percent of the vote; 2,784 of our fellow citizens voted to support. We should be proud of this impressive result. Therefore, I am upbeat and in good spirits. On the morning after the election, I went to work as if it were any other day.

I have been humbled by the heartfelt words of appreciation from people identifying with my principles, sincerity and willingness to listen. So many people said things such as, “Thank you for running,” “You’re the reason why I’m voting,” “You’ve given us a choice.” I wasn’t expecting these statements, but I quickly understood that they meant what they said.

No one voted for me simply because I was their friend. They voted because they saw the promise for someone to represent their issue, their cause, and their values on the council. They voted for someone they believed had the experience and knowledge to effectively make an array of critical decisions for the city. Because of these various elements, campaign support was diverse and spanned demographic groups and ideologies.

I spoke with Jude Prather the night of the election and wished him well and that I trusted he would fulfill the expectations of a good councilman to the best of his ability. He said he was ready for the job.

Again, I am honored by your confidence in me and the hard work you did to communicate the message. I look forward to continuing our relationship and work in the community.

Until next time we meet, please be careful.

Toby C. Hooper
San Marcos

Now the campaign is over and I have had a good night’s sleep. I want to take this time to thank all of you who helped me. Of course, I wished the results would have turned out differently, but I knew this was a possibility going into the race. I vowed from the first day of this campaign to keep my good reputation and integrity intact. I would not stoop to dirty politics nor would I allow myself or this community to be sold to the highest bidder. A lot of eyebrows were raised when I refused to accept out of town PAC money. That was just one of those personal ethics I have for myself. I know there is nothing illegal about it and it is done all the time. It was just not for me. I understand this made some angry, and perhaps may have been the turning point of the election, but, like I said, my integrity is not for sale. When you see me in town, you will always see me with my head held high. I am proud of what the campaign was able to do without the dirty money from big out of town developers and, in some cases, out of state.

I realize now that politics will not be in my future. However, my commitment to public service will never cease. I have always believed public service is a duty and I intend to fulfill my duty as long as God will allow it.


Rodney van Oudekerke
San Marcos

Email Email | Print Print


7 thoughts on “Commentary: Reaction from Hooper, van Oudekerke

  1. I appreciate these words a great deal. Interesting to contemplate what it means to win these days.

  2. What wonderful sentiments. And somehow, when Rodney used the word “God”, I felt he was truly sincere.
    Thank you both for running clean campaigns.

  3. Nicely put, gentlemen. And I do mean gentlemen. Thanks for running clean, positive campaigns focused on issues and qualifications. You both have proven to be valuable assets to this city, whether you sit on Council or not.

    Good luck to the winners from Tuesday’s elections. May they govern with the best interests of all San Martians at heart.

  4. I have known Rodney for many years and he is a great person and community advocate. I do not agree with his comment about dirty money. Legal money from within the San Marcos community, out of town, out of state or anywhere else is not dirty. It is those that use it for illegal reasons that are dirty. I do not think that anyone from any race in San Marcos used illegal money or money for illegal reasons. If someone has proof that I am wrong please step forward but do not make blanket statements about any group.

  5. Hometown, Mr. Oudekerke in his statement said it wasn’t illegal, but that it violated his personal ethics. The concept is, just because you can doesn’t mean you should. I’m rather proud that he set a higher standard than just what was legal.

  6. I guess nice guys really do finish last….at least in San Marcos politics.

    Shame on San Marcos for electing “more of the same” instead of these two. Enjoy your town full of fast food places and apartments……all on your dime, of course…….but at least Paso Robles is putting in a GOLF COURSE!!!!

  7. I hope Hooper continues to pursue a seat on council. Nice letters from both of them…it would have been really nice to have at least one of them win the race, but oh well. Thanks for running, guys!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *