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“There aren’t many liberals in the suburbs,” I pointed out ingeniously. “But then there aren’t many Democrats either. Primaries are a snap. It’s usually the general election that’s toughand you don’t have to worry about that.” “All our neighbors are transplanted Northerners,” I told the Candidate, a transplanted Southerner. “Finding a Texan around here is like finding a one-car family. They look like Republicans. They talk like Republicans. Maybe they actually are Republicans. So we’ll have the Democratic primary all to our liberal selves.” Having read and reread The Making of the President, we mapped our strategy as the azaleas budded and bloomed and the chinch bugs invaded the precinct. “Find a liberal in every block to get out the vote,” I suggested, skirting any reference to liberal blockheads. “Doorbell ringing, phone, calls, union people to babysit and take Negroes and poor old widows to the polls you ktiow, like COPE says.” There began my Texas political education. The Candidate had to explain patiently that there aren’t any union people, nor Negroes, nor even any poor widows, in Precinct 265. Which, when you think about it, may explain the marked lack of enthusiasm for the war on poverty, medicare, and civil rights. At any rate our main strategy collapsed when the Candidate learned reliably that only twenty liberals lurked behind the pine trees in the entire precinct. So we fell back to our just-plain-folks, second line of offense: person-to-person campaigning. The person elected to pass out campaign literature at the polls was the Candidate’s 12year-old son. \(The Candidate’s cards bore a label indicating they were printed by union laborwe won’t make that mistake the boy in my best ward-heeling manner : “How’s it going, son?” “Great,” he said, “I’ve already had four cokes and my stomach doesn’t even hurt.” That night we arrived in forcethe Candidate, his non-voting son and Iat the precinct convention held in an elementary school. This sacrifice to grass-roots democracy disrupted the theater-going plans of our respective wives. Was there an omen to be read from these plans?The Candidate’s wife wanted to see “The Best Man,” but my wife opted for a staging of “The Theater of the Absurd.” Before the convention we stood ill-atease looking for islands of hope in the sea of rosy and pleasant faces surging around us. With practiced eye we scanned the delegates, seeking a slightly-frayed buttondown collar, a telltale hole in the shoeany sign that might betray liberal-loyalist-deviationist tendencies. “It looks like a Republican convention to me,” I said. About that time a pleasant-faced man introduced himself as the conservative floor leader. His diffidence was refreshing, but I began to feel uneasy when the Candidate introduced me as his “supporter” \(singu 8 The Texas Observer fable floor . leader was saying. “You ought to see some of those nuts next door.” He gestured to the adjoining room where the Republicans were convening in a Goldwater frenzy. “Now you take that third candidate in the Democratic race. He didn’t even show up tonight. The last public figure he could support in good conscience was Genghis Khan.” Obviously here was a conservative unbound by dogma. Smelling the possibility of a little horse-trading, we moved quickly to the school’s air-conditioned kitchen for serious backroom discussion. The Candidate and the floor leader produced their respective. resolutionsthe Candidate from his left pocket ; the opponent from his right. We agreed to go along with his Connally resolution if he’d support our Lyndon Johnson resolution. “I think we’ve got a few votes here for Old Lyndon,” he said. The deal was consummated in the manner of such political agreements, with just a nodding of heads. THE INCUMBENT CHAIR-MAN, wrapped around a long Havana, called the convention to order in cigarshaped tones and we soon found out where we stood in Precinct 265way out in left field. \(“Look at him!”‘ said the Candidate, choking on his Danish Whiff. “He’s a pro In my new role as liberal floor deader and supporter, I rose to nominate the Candidate for temporary convention chairman, pausing dramatically before branding him as a “Lyndon Baines Johnson Democrat.” It was his idea, and a good one, I thought. “The only hope we’ve got is to keep ’em guessing,” he had advised me. “Tell ’em we’re for Lyndon, but for God sakes don’t ###########Iste polo The margins of victory in Saturday’s runoff were roughly these: George Bush, 5-to-3 over Jack Cox for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate, with about 80,000 votes cast; Democrats: Cong-atlarge Joe Pool, 4-to-3 over Bob Baker of Houston; for congressman, district 15, Rep. Eligio de la Garza, 7-to-4 over Rep. Lindsey Rodriguez; for congressman, district 16, Richard White, 18-to-17 over Rep. advertising executive, defeated Rep. George Cook, Odessa, for the State Senate nomination. Seven House incumbents lost their runoffsnamely, Reps. Homer Koliba, Columbus; Don Brown, Hitchcock ; Herbert Shutt, Houston; Myra Bonfield, Rosenberg; H. 0. Niemeyer, Knippa ; and Stanford Smith and Jim Segrest, San Antonio. \(Winning incumbents Saturday were Reps. Bass, Cowles, McDonald, Lack, Cole, use that word and he looked around cautiously] `Liberal’.” But the conservatives moved like a welloiled machine or, more precisely, like a steamroller. “Economic royalists,” muttered the Candidate, threatening to rump. For as the convention drama unfolded, it became cleareven without CBS’s Vote Profile Analysis that we had seven votes, the opposition sixty-six. The others in our valiant band looked weary, as if they had participated in the same ritual before. “Once we rang all the doorbells in the precinct and got 25 votes,” said one. “This year looks like one of the bad ones.” Until the Johnson resolution the convention glided ahead on its wellgreased skids, much like a Republican meeting. But when the Candidate asked that Precinct 265 avow its support of a native Texan who happens to be the national President, the delegates awoke. Necks craned. Whispers buzzed. Then suddenly we had hands to count-32 of them in favor, only 28 against. A smile wreathed the Candidate’s drawn face. He lit up a fresh Danish Whiff. Let the Goldwaterites next door huff and puff ; Precinct 265 were safely in LBJ’s pocket. Where those votes came from still mystifies us. Was it a sign of latent liberalism on the Green Coastor just Texas Chauvinism? AS FOR THE CANDIDATE, he lost the precinct chairmanship in the primary balloting. His strategy of not waving the liberal flag paid off, however. “We ran ahead of Don Yarborough here,” he told me the next morning. “Don lost seven to one. And they only nipped us by a narrow three to one margin.” won renomination in Corpus Christi. Speaker Byron Tunnell is assured re-election by a large majority in 1965, spokesmen for him saidand no one argued with them. In San Antonio, Cty. Cmsr. Albert Pena was re-elected, 3-to-2, while two legislative candidates of the Democratic Coalition were unseating the two San Antonio incumbents. The Constitution Party has designated eight candidates for statewide races, starting off with Jack Carswell for U.S. senator, in a convention in Midland. frof In Austin, B. T. Bonner, a Negro who has been active in civil rights demon strations, lost his candidacy for county commissioner of a precinct that included the largest Negro residential area in Aus tin. Reform of tax valuations was one of Bonner’s main planks. The margin of vic tory for Rubert Ceder, Bonner’s white op ponent, was about 7 to 4. Race was very Political Intelligence Elections and Conventions