Page 20


Chet Edwards Phil Gramm Fort Worth YV.P”V Dallas Bryan College Station Carl Krohn Wes Mowery Two congressional races By Dave McNeely College Station, Dallas On a freeway skirting the southwest corner of Dallas County, a tall sign next to a building site announces on one side that a new bank is going up. On the other side is a pitch for congressional candidate Phil Gramm. Gramm is a right-wing economics professor from Texas A&M University, and there is no doubt he is the bankers’ man this spring. Though Gramm is bidding for votes in Dallas, he lives 180 miles to the south, in College Stationsuch is the curious geography of Texas’ 6th congressional district, represented since 1946 by Olin Teague of College Station, who is stepping down this year. The 6th district looks on the map like a snake with its head stomped flat. It owes its shape to a little bit of gerrymandering on the part of a Texas Legislature angered by the Supreme Court’s 1963 one-man, one-vote decision. Compelled to add population to the district, the state’s lawmakers patched together a district designed to protect long-time incumbent Teague. As the lines were being drawn, a state senator remarked that, by driving the length of the new district with one’s car doors open, one could kill everybody in it. Tiger Teague’s tailor-made bailiwick now reaches from College Station to the southern portions of Dallas and Tarrant counties. With the incumbent’s decision to retire after 16 terms in the U.S. House, the roster of candidates seeking to replace him has grown to six Democrats and two Republicans. None has ever held office in Texas before, but three have tried, including two who ran unsuccessfully against Teague in 1976. That year, Ron Godbey, 43. a Fort Worth attorney and television and radio weatherman, got 46 percent of the vote in losing the Democratic primary to Teague. In the November general election, Republican Wes Mowery, a petroleum Landman, lost two-to-one to Teague. Godbey and Mowery are both back for another try. . The third candidate who has campaigned for public office before is the 35-year-old Gramm, who took a beating in a 1976 Democratic Senate primary race against Lloyd Bentsen. The Democrats also include Chet Edwards, 26, an A&M honor grad and former Teague aide; Kay Jones, 39, wife of a strong supporter of former U.S. Sen. Ralph Yarborough, restaurateur Armand Jones; Don McNeil of Alvarado, 37, who made enough money in the computer business to retire to a farm; and William L. Powers Jr., 48, who attended A&M and later the U.S. Naval Academy, and is now a commercial loan officer for a Dallas savings and loan company. The other Republican is Carl H. Krohn, 28, of Bryan, who describes himself as a newspaper carrier and disabled marine veteran, and whose program, save for a proposal to limit farm subsidies to farmers working no more than 500 acres, is traditional GOP fare. The crowded field has made for an interesting campaign. Last summer Edwards made the rounds of Dallas-area newspapers and radio and TV stations \(and. presumably, media elsewhere in Teague’s home-based representative. Edwards invited those he met with to let him know if there were anything he could do for them as Tiger’s surrogate. There were rumbles that Edwards wanted to run for the boss’s seat when Teague retired, and Teague’s apparently conscious decision to set his young aide loose did nothing to counter the talk. Edwards. who admitted he just might give such a race consideration, said he would do nothing on his own behalf until THE TEXAS OBSERVER 5