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Guest Editorials Post Mortems on the Runoff Archer Fullingim, editor of the Kountze News, comments on the Democrats’ gubernatorial runoff. Fullingim was a cochairman of the Rebuilding Committee, which in 1966 encouraged liberals to vote for Republican Sen. John Tower over Waggoner Carr, a conservative Democrat. About the only way you can reasonably look at the election Saturday is that the rest of Texas is just badly out of step with Southeast Texas and deep East Texas where we voted for Don Yarborough almost 2 to 1. What in the world is wrong with the people in West and North Texas anyway? Them people up around Dallas and in North and West Texas just ain’t got any sense, as Viola Beard told me. “I’m just flat glad that I live in Hardin county where people have got enough sense to vote for the right man,” Viola said. Viola might have been a little extra mad Sunday morning on account of what happened Saturday night. Some thieves went into her Irish potato patch, pulled up a lot of potato vines, took them out on the highway and stripped them of spuds. Viola says that the next person she finds prowling around her place, which is at the Kountze and Silsbee Y, is going to find himself full of buckshot. A little while back she had to fire two shots at hog thieves. What beat Don in . . . Fort Worth and other big cities, they tell me, was that the Smith people put out the word that Don, if elected, would appoint long-hairs and wierdos and irresponsible people to boards, commissions, etc. The people in West Texas voted for Smith because he’s from West Texas. That’s the custom out there. . . . It now appears that the only way to dislodge the lobby at Austin which has ruled Texas with an iron fist for 30 years is to have a strong two-party system. For you can put it down that about half of the people who voted for Smith Satur,day were Republicans and will vote for Nixon or Reagan in November if they are nominated by the Republicans for presi 10 The Texas Observer MARTIN ELFANT Sun Life of Canada 1001 Century Building Houston, Texas CA 4-0686 dent. The people who pushed for Smith the hardest haven’t voted for a Democrat for president in years. That is why they belong in the Republican party. But I am not complaining about them voting for the Democrat in June and the Republican in November, because that is exactly what I intend to. do. Come November, I’ll vote for the Democratic nominee for president, but I will vote for the Republican nominee for governor. That’s the way we beat Waggoner Carr for the senate and that’s the way we can beat Smith for governor. . . . The daily press and the Smith people kept saying that the only people who would vote for Don would be the Negroes, Latin-Americans, hippies, but like Viola said, “If I’m a hippie, I’ve got a lot of company in Hardin, Jefferson, Newton, Orange, Galveston, Trinity, Tyler, Angelina and Jasper counties.” Smith and Don were tied in Jasper county. I’ll admit that Don got most of the Negro and Latin-American vote and I’m proud of the fact that soldiers of those races are doing more than their share of fighting and dying in Vietnam, and I . think it is time for the Dallas News and La. [Beaumont] Enterprise to quit flinging slurs on Negroes and Latin-Americans. They did it all during the campaign. It is time for the La. E. to realize that according to the population represented in the United States, the only minority group in Vietnam is the white man. Don Yarborough didn’t get beat for governor. The people of Texas got beat. Smith was not elected governor; the lobby for the Big Rich was reelected. So the people are going to continue to pay through the nose, and the Big Rich are not going to pay for anything. One thing that A. Shivers and P. Daniel taught Texans was that you can vote for a Republican any time you want to and that that pledge means nothing. So come November all of us hippies can vote for Paul Eggers for governor on the Republican ticket, just as most of the Smith people will be voting for Mr. Nixon. Cozy, ain’ it?. . . Another leading Texas liberal weekly editor, H. M. Baggarly, wrote this in the Tulia Herald about the victory of Preston Smith. . . . We have a strange coalition [in Texas politics] between Big Oil, Big Gas, Big Utilities, Big Insurance, and the rural and smalltown anti-intellectuals. Each is willing to scratch the back of the other. One thing they have in common is hatred for labor, intellectualism, and progress for the masses. Capitalizing on their mutual hatreds, they pool their resources .. . and away they go! The special interests furnish the money, the smalltown and rural areas, the votes. We hope to see the day in Texas when this coalition can be broken, for the good of the state, but that day is far in the future. The time is still here when a Texas cowhand can don a Stetson hat, smear cow manure on his boots, murder the king’s English, damn labor and anything else he considers “unTexan,” and get elected governor. . . . Perhaps the primary reason for Smith’s win in Swisher county, other than Smith’s geographic origin, was the intrusion of Republicans into the Democratic primaries. In the 1964 Presidential race, 816 Swisher residents voted Republican. In the 1966 Congressional race, 785 voted Republican. Neither of these elections were “liberal-conservative” in which self-styled “conservative Democratics” had “no other place to go.” In these races the Democratic candidates were Walter Rogers and Lyndon Johnson. Neither ever gave even a “conservative Democrat” an excuse to bolt the party. It can be assumed that these 700 to 800 persons in Swisher county who voted for Goldwater and Bob Price represent the hard core of Swisher Republicanism . . . yet, last May 4 only 60 persons voted in the GOP primary! What happened to the other 700? They were all busy as beavers getting their registration receipts marked “Democrat” and were casting votes for Preston Smith and Waggoner Carr in the Democratic primary! And, had Yarborough been elected, they would all have been voting for Republican Eggers come November. Their votes weren’t needed in the GOP primary .. . so they were going to help the Democrats nominate a “good solid conservative” so that there would be no way for the Republicans to lose in November. Either Smith or Eggers would be acceptable. In 1956, the GOP state chairman in Texas issued a statement before the Demo runoff. It was: if Ralph Yarborough is nominated by the Democrats, we will conduct a full scale effort to elect a Republican governor in November. But, if Price Daniel wins the nomination, he will be acceptable to the GOP and no serious effort will be made to oppose him. And now, in 1968, a top state GOP official said Sunday, “we aren’t going to spend much money on the governor’s race now that Smith has won the Democratic nod . . . we had a good sound and attractive man in the wings, just in case