There was a time when people would not tell you who they voted for in a political race.  But now politics is like a lifestyle for some.

That leads me to my brief encounter last week.  I was chatting with a an African American man who’s part of a union and very politically active here in Houston.  He identifies himself as a committed Democrat.

However, what the voter told me was surprising.  He says when he went to the polls to vote early last week he left one column on the ballot blank.  He said he decided not to vote in the Governor’s race in Texas.

That contest puts former Houston Mayor Bill White against incumbent Rick Perry.

I asked the man why he didn’t vote for White if he’s a committed Democrat.  That man says in simple terms he could never forgive White for snubbing President Barack Obama when he came to Texas a few months.

That man is essentially saying he’s willing to sacrifice the top seat in Texas government because of his perceived disrespect of the President.

That is the tone I’m hearing from lots of African Americans who in some cases are pinching their nose for that bad smell as they reluctantly vote for Bill White in the Governor’s race.

The political consultants I’ve talked with say White made the right move by avoiding Mr. Obama.  They say if he would’ve appeared with the President it would’ve been ammunition for Perry to tie the former Mayor to Washington and big government.  Rick Perry did that anyway.

But the end result is the possibility that White will loose a crucial part of the Democratic base – African  American voters who just have not been able to forgive him for avoiding the first African American president.

White currently trails Perry in all current polls in the gubernatorial race.

By full disclosure White has said he simply had another commitment when the President was in Texas.

What do you think?

Meanwhile, White spent Saturday going from door to door in various neighborhoods.  He’s trying to seal the deal for the big election on Tuesday.

Thanks to Torrey ‘T-Dub’ Walker for snapping these photos!