Ahead of inauguration, Cornyn meets with Texas residents over coffee

Texans gathered to meet Sen. John Cornyn for Texas Coffee Thursday, which allows constinuents to interact with their congressmen. Photo credit: Deidre Martinez

WASHINGTON – An array of breakfast pastries and coffee greeted various Texans who gathered to meet Sen. John Cornyn on Thursday in the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington.

The event, which is held every week while Congress is session, is called Texas Thursday Coffee and puts the Texas senator face to face with his constituents. This week, the crowd was made up of people who came to Washington for President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Among those who attended were the Lil’ Wranglers, a country and western dance team from College Station, who performed at the breakfast after meeting Cornyn.

“They travel all over the state and beyond just sharing the goodwill of Aggieland by performing for senators and, thankfully, in the inaugural parade this year,” said Lil’ Wrangler staff member Kyle Chism.

The group is one of three Texas groups invited to march at the Inaugural Parade and isexpected to perform at the Black Tie & Boots Presidential Inaugural Ball, according to official lineup press releases. The group needed an estimated $90-$100,000 to take the young dancers to Washington, but were able to pull it off through a mixture of fundraising efforts, Chism said.

“It’s a celebration day,” Chism said. “And we’re trying to teach these kids ‘You win some, you lose some,’ but regardless of what happens, you just got to celebrate and just have happy times.”

Although the senator took pictures with attendees, he had to leave early. This was due to scheduling, said Cornyn staff assistant Ben Van Sickle. Van Sickle cited the senator’s required presence at former Texas governor Rick Perry’s confirmation hearing for energy secretary at 9:30 a.m.Even with Cornyn gone, many attendees stayed to talk about the next day’s inauguration.

“I was for Donald Trump and yes, I did hopefully help to elect him,,” said Houston resident Malie Jones, who had booked her tickets to Washington the day after the election. “This is an election we are excited about, and the changes that are going to come — we hope. And we wanted to witness it.”

Jones said she had met Cornyn before, but decided to stop by because she was already in the area. She was one of the few who had missed the senator’s appearance on Thursday.

“I’m ready to have a business man run this country rather than a politician,” said Jones, whose husband is a business owner. “He’s not a politician, he’s a business man, and I don’t want him sounding like a politician. This country should be run like a business.”