Page 22


Mate Smith A wide open primary in Duval San Diego With George Parr dead, Archer Parr in federal prison, and Judge 0. P. Carrillo prohibited from ever again holding public office in Texas, there’s a whole new ball game in Duval County politics. For the first time this century, Duval County is having a wide open Democratic primary \(Republicans don’t have a chance dates, many of them independents, are vying for 33 offices ranging from county judge down to hide inspector. Two years ago, 26 people ran for 24 positions, and all of the winners belonged to the Parr’s Old Party, which has controlled Duval County affairs for the last 75 years. The Parrs’ stranglehold on the county was loosened a little last year when Judge O., P. Carrillo led his family into an open break with the Parrs. But the Parr and Carrillo, theories on how a county should be run are very similar. The two families have been working together draining Duval of its resources for ‘years. Most of the new candidates interviewed by the Observer identified themselves as independents, no matter what their past associations. Still, there is an identifiable Carrillo faction in the county now. \(A few days after the Observer left Duval, three members of the family were indicted by a local grand jury for a variety of alleged offenses, which probably didn’t help their will not be fielding candidates but will support or work against individual candidates according to their lights. Two distinct Parr factions seem to be emerging. State Rep. Terry Canales of Premont, the man who introduced the impeachment resolution concerning Judge Carrillo, and Richard H. Garcia, a Parr man who is Duval county attorney, are heading up one group and Nago Alaniz, who was George Parr’s attorney at the time of his death, is the leader of the second group. Jiggs McBride, who was with the Freedom Party years ago, is one of six candidates for county commissioner precinct two. This is the first time he’s ever run for anything other than precinct chairman. He says he’s running because “the county needs a little honesty. George Parr killed himself and it’s wide open for the first time that I can remember,” he said. McBride, a rancher who lives near Realitos in south Duval County, estimated that there’s probably somebody from the Freedom Party running for every major office in the county. Asked if there were any Parr or Carrillo candidates running, McBride said, “They may have been associated with them in the past, but there are a lot of changed feelings here in the county. Right nowwe’re just happy as all get out to maybe see the county get straightened out.” A number of other candidates treated an Observer reporter with suspicion. Three of them refused to be interviewed by telephone. The wife of Daniel Casarez, a candidate for sheriff, at first said, “He don”t want to come to the phone,” but she eventually got him on the line. Casarez said he has never run for office before. “This is my first time. It has been very hard for us here for the past 25 years. We small people are tryin’ to get things back to normal.” As to political affiliation, Casarez said he’s “not associated with nobody. I’m just a laborer.” Arnulfo Guerra, the district attorney, is running for Judge Carrillo’s old job on the 229th District Court bench. His only opponent is Ricardo Garcia, the Parr man who’s allied with Terry Canales. Guerra describes himself as completely independent, but some political observers think he’s been fairly close to the Carrillos and Clinton Manges in the past. At any rate, if Guerra ever showed a preference for the Carrillos, he’s redeemed himself by. obtaining indictments against members of that family, along with a majority, of the other officeholders in Duval County for official misconduct, theft, and other unseemly activities. Canales, who is not from Duval but from a neighboring county, is once more running for the Legislature, and he’s once more being challenged by Ernestine Glossbrenner, a high school math teacher from Alice who ran him a pretty good race two years ago. There’s a third candidate as well, Jose Luis Ramos, an assistant district attorney from Hebbronville. Nago Alaniz is running to replace Guerra as district attorney. The only other candidate for the post is Pancho Cerda of Hebbronville. Alaniz was involved in one of the most sordid incidents in Duval history. This was back in 1952, when the Freedom Party was seriously challenging George Parr’s control of a number of South Texas counties. Jacob S. Floyd, a straight-laced Baptist lawyer from Alice, was the leader of the Freedom Party. George Parr at that time was Duval County sheriff and Alaniz was one of his deputies. On Sept. 8, 1972, Alaniz called Floyd in Alice and insisted that they meet immediately. He told Floyd to leave his car at home and to take a taxi to a lunch stand on the outskirts of Alice. Floyd did as he was instructed. They met and Alaniz told Floyd that he was to be assassinated that night. Alaniz said his role was to furnish an alibi for the leader of the hired killers, one February 2Z 1976 3