"You guys are my heroes," Sharon Copeland, who drove to Ardmore from her home about 60 miles away in Denton, Texas, said today as she threw her arms around Rep. Lon Burnam of Fort Worth. "I sure am proud to be a Democrat today. I didn't even know this could be done."
"The issue is: Is democracy going to win over excessive political greed? The only way that we can make sure that it does is to stand up," Coleman said.
About a dozen people, some holding homemade signs reading "Save Texas," cheered with lawmakers during the news conference.
"For somebody to stand up like this is a wonderful affirmation of American values," said Gene Lantz, who drove to Ardmore from his Dallas home Tuesday.
Today, local law enforcement agents greeted the Democrats with big smiles and warm handshakes.
"We're here to let them know we support them," Harvey Burkhart, sheriff of Carter County, Okla., said Tuesday. "Nothing's going to happen to them here. I can tell you we're certainly not going to put them in jail."
How long the Dems will stay put is in doubt, though it sounds like they'll be back by the weekend. In the meantime, they're holding firm:
"There is absolutely no dishonor in using the rules," said Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Alpine, who said blocking a House quorum is a legitimate tactic.
"The reality is we hope the legislative leadership will take note of our position and will work with us in resolving what brought us to today," Gallego said. "It is not an easy thing to get over 50 members of the Legislature to agree on much, much less to agree on a trip to our neighboring state of Oklahoma."