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Incumbents victorious vote absentee. Morehead concudes, “Many find it not worth the trouble.” Neither of the Observer’s editors expected Farenthold to be in the runoff. It’s an unusual year, obviously not a year to place bets on the basis of conventional political wisdom. One school of thought has it that Briscoe will pick up most of the Barnes and Smith people who bother to vote, but that he will lose many of the voters who went with him first time around on the assumption that Sissy wasn’t a “serious” candidate. Farenthold has challenged Briscoe to a series of debates. His campaign manager, Calvin Guest, turned the challenge down flat. “It is Mr. Briscoe’s sincere belief that Texas faces a great challenge in restoring unity and a spirit of co-operation in the Democratic party,” Guest wrote to Creekmore Fath, Farenthold’s campaign manager. “As a lifelong active supporter of the Democratic Party solidarity and unity, he is determined to see that the broad-based, widespread support he received . becomes a foundation upon which open, fair and honest government as well as an open, fair and honest party, can be con structe d.” “Brsicoe is already talking like he’s a nominee, not just a candidate. I think he’s forgotten he’s still got an election to win,” Fath responded. The gang that once had everything must now adopt Dolph Briscoe, but Briscoe no doubt will remember that he was their second choice. Of the original gang, only Wayne Connally, the brother of the governor who turned Republican, is still a possible winner. He’ll face Houston Post Editor Bill Hobby in the run-off for lieutenant governor. But even if Wayne wins, it just won’t be like the good old days when once they had everything. K.N. Ralph, Barefoot in runoff A mere 5,000 votes forced Ralph Yarborough into a runoff with Barefoot Sanders, the winner to face U.S. Sen. John Tower in the fall. Sanders won Dallas, his home town, Lubbock, Midland and Odessa. Yarborough took the rest of the major cities. He received 1,030,302 to Sanders’ 784,619 votes. The runoff should be more of the same Sanders making a centrist appeal and Yarborough calling on this traditional strong liberal support. From a college textbook on comparative anatomy, a passage concerning the A variety lizard. “In A. variety lizard, the tail is enlarged and may be used as a copulative organ. In others, the eardrum may be absent.” 4 The Texas Observer Unaffected, for the most part, by the cataclysms of the Sharpstown scandal, all of Texas’ incumbent congressmen won renomination to the U.S. House. Only a few of the 20 incumbents fade serious opposition in the fall. State Sen. Charles Wilson of Lufkin, a liberal most of the time, won John Dowdy’s redistricted seat. A Baltimore jury found Dowdy guilty of taking a bribe and Ms. Dowdy ran in his stead. Two other Democrats were in the race. Someone circulated mug-shots of Wilson taken when he was charged with DWI in Austin in 1969. Wilson later pled guilty to a reduced charge of driving while under the influence of drugs prescribed by a doctor. The opposition made much of the fact that Wilson introduced Frank Sharp’s banking bills in the Senate at the request of the original sponsor, Jack Strong. A television advertisement shown on some stations in the EaSt Texas district depicted a fellow sitting on the edge of a bed, his head in his hands, saying, “I can’t believe he really passed those banking bills. I just can’t believe Charlie Wilson really passed those banking bills.” His wife, in the background, snaps, “Well he did it. Charlie Wilson really did it.” Despite the imaginative opposition, Wilson prevailed with 63 percent of the vote. Black State Sen. Barbara Jordan trounced three black male candidates with a 80.4 majority vote in a new Houston district, tailor-made for her during the last legislative session. \(See “Carving of the territories,” Obs,, be the first black woman representative from the South. State Rep. Curtis Graves, who ran second, attacked Jordan for working too close to the Barnes machine in Austin. “It’s most unfair to link me with that part of the party structure,” Jordan , countered. “My voting record does not comport with the philosophy of conservative organizations. The issue is who can get things done. Who is the most effective.” The vast majority of citizens in the mostly black District 18 obviously think Barbara Jordan is the candidate who can get things done. Liberal State Sen. Mike McKool meets Dale Milford, a former television weatherman, in a runoff for the Democratic nomination from the weird new District 24, which includes all of Denton County, Arlington, Grand Prairie, part of Oak Cliff and a strip of western Dallas County no wider than a single census tract. McKool got 37.2 percent of the vote compared to Milford’s 32 percent. Courtney Roberts of Arlington faces Don Reeves of Grand Prairie in a Republican runoff. Bob Poage, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, easily beat fellow conservative Murray Watson of Mart, who left the Texas Senate to challenge Poage. John Young of Corpus Christi was re-nominated with 63.7 percent of the vote against Yancy White, the lawyer who successfully challenged Texas’ restrictive voter registration laws two years ago. 0. C. Fisher of San Angelo will face a young Republican reformer, Dr. Doug Harlan of San Antonio, in November. K.N. Back to 1960 For the past decade, the Texas Senate has moved, election by election, closer to a working liberal majority. Last session, its members came within one vote of actually putting a direct tax on business. Something had to be done. In one of his last official acts as lieutenant governor, Ben Barnes, who had fought the corporate profits tax, personally supervised the redistricting of the Senate. Now, the House redistricting plan, drawn according to federal court guidelines, is helping liberals to gain a foothold in the lower house. Barnes’ redistricting scheme, to the contrary, is helping make the Senate safe once again for a “good business climate.” Depending on the outcome of primary runoffs and the general election, the conservatives should hold a majority as high as 20 11 or as low as 18 13. A number of Senators moved on. Liberals Jordan, Wilson and McKool are all trucking toward Congress. Connally, Christie and Hall tried to ascend to the lieutenant governor’s chair. Sen. Hank Grover is in a Republican runoff for the gubernatorial nomination. The champeen filibusterer, Don Kennard, a most-of-the-time liberal from Fort Worth, lost a bid for reelection by 5,500 votes to Bill Meier, a conservative lawyer. Ronald Bridges of Corpus Christi, a sometimes liberal, also was beaten by a rightwinger Michael McKinnon, a television executive. The legislative career of Diamond Jim Bates, a man of erratic voting habits, was ended by Rep. Raul Longoria of Edinburg. During the campaign, Bates was given to pulling out a yo-yo and telling audiences, “My opponent is just like a yo-yo. Thing about a yo-yo is, you can make it do whatever you want. Tell it to go down, it goes down,” he’d say, demonstrating. “Tell it to go out, it goes out.” Longoria was on the platform with Bates at least once during such a performance. Longoria got red in the face and couldn’t think of anything to say. It was reminiscent of his performance in the House.