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Unlike most Texas Republicans Tower has little trouble raising money. Thus far he has raised about $2.4 million from some 40,000 contributors. Tower’s fundraisers are more apt to point with pride to the high number of contributors than to the $2.4 million figure, however. The 40,000 check-writers, they say, provide a broad base of support unapproached by any Democrat for statewide office. Despite his strengths, Tower and his people must heed their own advice not to take Krueger lightly. Krueger is a strong and tireless campaigner, and he is probably the most skillful political imagemaker in modern Texas history. Furthermore, he obfuscates and flip-flops on issues when politically advantageous, a recent example being his support of including the Lower Canyons of the Rio Grande in the wild and scenic rivers program. Like Tower, Krueger is a good fundraiser, having raised $1.2 million so far. Unlike Tower, he has virtually abandoned his responsibilities in Congress to become a full-time candidate. Tower dutifully puts in five-day weeks in Washington, returning home to campaign only on weekends and during Senate recesses. Krueger is taking dead aim at a base of support Tower has enjoyed to the exclusion of other Republicans, including attractive candidates like George Bush and Paul Eggers: the Mexican-American vote. Although Tower has not carried most Mexican-American boxes, he has consistently received a high percentage of the chicano vote. Krueger believes he can win by eroding Tower’s base with Mexican-Americans. In pursuit of that goal, he has unleashed a strong personal attack on Tower, attempting to portray him as a racist. “There’s no doubt Krueger’s attacks are hurting us right now,” reports a Tower staff member. “This is an example of how mean he can be. He’s also going around promising that he’ll get Mexican-Americans a lot of appointments from Carter, a promise he can’t deliver on.” Krueger is shooting for 85 percent of the Mexican-American vote. Tower’s people believe they will be able to keep at least 35 percent. Clearly, somebody’s plans will fall short, and the margin could be the decisive factor in the election. The congressional races Results of the Democratic primary and run-off reinforced the underdog position of a number of Republican congressional candidates, but, for the most part, their enthusiasm for the fall election has not diminished. “The Democrats always seem to solve their own problems in the primary,” says one Republican professional with 16 years of campaign experience in the state. “They did it again this year.” The “problems” facing the Democrats were the candidacies of a number of congressional hopefuls who Republicans thought would have been easier to beat: Lane Denton in Bob Poage’s 11th district; Ron Godbey in Tiger Teague’s 6th district; tarnished incumbent John Young in the 14th district; incumbent Dale Milford in the 24th district; and Dusty Rhodes in Omar Burleson’s 17th district. Resolution came by way of defeat for all four. Two districts look especially promising for Republicans: the 19th, where George Bush of Midland \(son of the posbock State Senator Kent Hance in a battle to replace the powerful 44-year House veteran George Mahon, and the 21st, where former Gerald Ford aide Tom Loeffler of Kerrville faces former Democratic State Senator Nelson Wolff of San Antonio in the contest for the seat Bob Krueger is giving up. Both the 19th and 21st districts are strongly conservative and have Republican voting habits at the presidential and senatorial level. Both Bush and Loeffler are good campaigners, and they have demonstrated abilities as money-raisers. In addition, both had strong primary contests which helped build name-identification and attract dedicated volunteers. Bush and Loeffler are the most likely candidates to join incumbent Republican congressmen Jim Collins of Dallas and Bill Archer of Houston in Washington next January, but both have their work cut out for them. Bush must make peace with the Reagan faction of the party which gave strong support to his run-off opponent, Jim Reese, the former Odessa mayor who ran a close race against Mahon in 1976. And he must expand his geographic base of support from its present rather narrow focus in Midland. Loeffler must overcome a two-year head start by Nelson Wolff, who solidified his support in many of the small West Texas counties of the district before Loeffler appeared on the scene, and he needs to find a formula to guarantee victory in the San Antonio portion of the district where Wolffs real political base lies. After Bush and Loeffler, Republicans place strong hopes on Tom Pauken, a bright young attorney who narrowly lost a State Senate bid in 1976. Pauken is opposing one-term incumbent Jim Mattox in Dallas’ 5th district, the seat formerly held by Republican Alan Steelman. Mattox was once thought to be unbeatable, but his touted political judgment has proved faulty. There are reports that he has alienated some of his constituents with imprudent remarks about the recent city bond issue in Dallas, and he has developed a reputation for arrogance that he did not have as a member of the Legislature. Pauken has had early success in fundraising \($88,000 from party super-stars such as George Bush, John Connally and Ronald Reagan to help raise enough to be competitive all the way to November. Jack Burgess of Waco, the Republican who scared Bob Poage two years ago in the 1 1 th district, is running again. Burgess’s people are quick to admit that they would have preferred Lane Denton as their Democratic opponent, believing a conservative-liberal contest would work to their advantage in this basically conservative district. However, they have been encouraged and somewhat surprised by what one of them calls a “sizable liberal backlash” against Marvin Leath, the establishment banker from Marlin who defeated Denton in the Democratic run-off. Liberals, apparently, prefer Burgess as a man of integrity to Leath, whom they perceive as a typical vested-interest politician. If Burgess can forge an effective alliance with the dissatisfied liberals and maintain his own conservative base, he could be one of the happy underdogs on the night of November 7. In the 22nd district, Act III of the Dr. Ron Paul/Bob Gammage melodrama is unfolding. Paul, a Lake Jackson physician, held the seat briefly after defeating Gammage in a 1976 special election, only to lose to him later that year in the general election. He has not stopped campaigning. Gammage, once a noted liberal in the Texas Senate, has moved decidedly to the right and put himself on more solid ground with his conservative constituency. This is a seat Republicans could win, but Gammage’s conservative ploy seems to have lessened the danger he faces. Three other districts have hardworking and able Republican candidates, but their chances were hurt by Democratic primary results. In the 6th district two years ago, Wes Mowery gave incumbent Democrat Tiger Teague a credible challenge, but the Democrats’ selection of conservative Texas A&M professor Phil Gramm in this conservative and brass-collar Democratic district has seriously undermined Mowery’s position. In the 17th district, Bill Fisher of Abilene is another able Republican disadvantaged by the opposition’s selection. Democrat Charles Stenholm is a Stamford farmer with broad appeal, but Fisher is likely to press him hard. In the 24th district, Leo Berman was a credible challenger to weak incumbent Dale Milford in 1976 and was prepared for a tough THE TEXAS OBSERVER 11