Political Intelligence Texas Politics, Mid-Summer ’65 Idle and “inside” conversations on who will run for what next year in Texas tend to resolve into a blend of information and opinion about the major likelihoods. This is the Observer’s sizing up of this consensus at mid-summer : Governor John Connally will seek a third term if the four-year governor’s term is approved in November. Rep. Charles Whitfield, Houston, added his name to those few who might like to take on the governor, but he, like Rep. Bill Hollowell of Grand Saline, is likely to be affected by a shortage of campaign funds. Hollowell figured it would take $750,000 or so to mount a serious campaign against Connally. Don Yarborough’s name pops up occasionally as a possible opponent for Connally again. The argument that the Houston lawyer ripped his political career permanently by his weak showing last time is countered with the argument that the circumstances were unusual. There is some talk of the Texas AFL-CIO state convention resoluting this year to permit state president Hank Brown to run against Connally and retain his labor post during the campaign. Texas Republicans would have to run someone against Connally because a party’s convention composition is determined by the turnout of voters for its candidate for governor, but under the Texas Republicans’ new policy of not running to win against entrenched conservative Democrats to avoid bringing out extra Democratic voters, GOP opposition would be token. It is not likely that George Bush, the GOP’s best uncommitted vote-getter for next year, would take Connally on. At present the race for the Democrats’ nomination for U.S. senator against Sen. John Tower appears to be between Atty. Gen. Waggoner Carr and Cong. Jim Wright of Fort Worth. Carr has joined Lt. Gov. Preston Smith in saying he will run for governor if Connally does not; but if Connally does run for governor, Carr is obviously the leading tory Dembcrat in the race for the Senate. \(At the abortive State Democratic Executive Committee session in Wichita Falls last monthat which neither Speaker Ben Barnes nor his replacement, Rep. Gus Mutscher, turned up, and which did not select the new state Democratic chairman because it didn’t have its instructions from Connally yet Carr said the congressional redistricting bill had accomplished one thing already, agreement between Sens. Tower and Ralph Yarborough that it was no good, “proving once again,” Carr said, “that every cloud now practicing law in Austin, is muchmentioned for the Senate race, but told William Gardner of the Houston ,Post he is not preparing for any political candidacy. Wright is running ; he is speechmaking all over the state. His themes: “liberal” and “conservative” are terms that fade into “a new dawn of enlightened consensus”; Johnson’s foreign and domestic policies are wise, and contain many conservative elementslower spending, lower taxes, friendliness toward business. Wright currently is speaking out against a users’ fee for national parks and recreation areas. He is almost certain to vote for repeal of 14-B of Taft-Hartley for a variety of reasons. His labor record already includes voting for the Landrum-Griffin bill; Hank Brown has said labor would be hard-put to oppose him for Senate if he voted for repeal. But if he voted against repeal, labor would probably turn against him not only because of 14-B and Landrum-Griffin, but also his recent votes for the federal poll tax and against the 1964 civil rights bill. In Fort Worth savvy types will give odds that Wright will vote for repeal. He will probably also vote for the voting rights bill this year. Some liberals are considering trying to draft Cong. Jack Brooks of Beaumont into the race. Brooks is a liberal Democrat \(he voted for the civil rights measures Wright dent Johnson. So close, however, that he would not likely run if Johnson thought he should not. Also, if Brooks becomes congressman from the new Galveston-Beaumont district, he will have a secure base in the U.S. House for his desire to become Speaker. Suppose the four-year term for governor \(linked as it is in the same November election with likely-to-be-unpopular fouryear terms for members of the Texas to forego his distaste, bruited about in a national magazine, about being junior senator to Yarborough? In that case, Lt. Gov. Preston Smith and Carr would move for governor. Connally might want someone All this disallows the possibility of new faces. For instance, Darrell Royal, the Texas football coach, is letting it be known he is a Democrat, and has been a guest at the LBJ. Dan Blocker, the Ph.D. cowboy from Texas, has said he would not run against Connally; might he run for what Connally doesn’t run for in ’66? Probably nothe said at the Yarborough dinner in San Antonio last month that he will just vote for men like Yarborough and Cong. Henry Gonzalez, for his part. \(Blocker has been a Connally backer. When a certain liberal Democrat started filling his ear with arguments that Connally is not a people’s governor, Blocker listened with The liberals’ dilemmathe lack of a single statewide candidate who’s thought to be running for governor or senatorcontinues unresolved. Sen. Franklin Spears of San Antonio still hopes to run for attorney general, with Carr probably moving out. Sen. Charles Herring, Austin, is mentioned for that job, too. Although the story that Hank Brown endorsed it was in error, the idea that Sen. Yarborough should run for governor without resigning his Senate seat during the campaign is gaining some adherents who see no other way to prevent Connally from occupying the Mansion through 1970. Pro-Connally, pro-Yarborough people like Bob Slagle, president of the Young Democrats in Texas, argue to the contrary that if Yarborough lost, his growing prestige in the Senate would be hurt. Ultimatelyas anyone who knows Yarborough knowsthere is no way to know whether to take this possibility seriously, because whether one should depends entirely on whether Yarborough does. It is relevant, though, that Yarborough has always wanted to be governor ; that Cty. Cmsr. Albert Pena of San Antonio is quoting Yarborough as having said to him, “You know, I think Connally has saved Allan Shivers from being the worst governor in the history of Texas”; and that Pena says he said to Yarborough, “I think you ought to run for governor,” and Yarborough turned on him and -said, “Don’t tempt me!” vor According to Joe Belden’s Texas Poll in June, 46% wanted Tower re-elected, 29% want “someone else,” and 25% are undecided. Asked to volunteer who might run against Tower, nine out of ten of those who did not select Tower had no suggestions, and no one was named by more than 3%Connally and Wright getting “the most mentions,” Belden said. As to Connally, Belden said somewhat vaguely that “a parallel set of questions” was asked, and 62% want Connally again, 25% want “someone else,” and 13% are undecided; no one was named to replace, Connally by more than 1% of those against him. Carr, Connally Cross-wise Carr and Connally got cross-wise at the U.S. conference of attorneys gen eral in San Antonio. Carr, relaxing with the attorneys general in South Texas, told the Corpus Christi Caller-.Times that they were concerned “over the extreme decisions generally favoring the criminal over the convicted,” although they realize decisions July 9. 1965 5
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