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member that inflation has hit campaigns harder than virtually any other kind of activity.” With Clements’s financing and harddriving ways, the race for governor will certainly be exciting. Cool and objective Republican analysts are confident the potential for victory is there. As one observes, “It’s a winnable race. There are votes out there for either side to win.” Republicans know their candidate trails John Hill at the moment, but they have come to take heart from Clements’s remark, “We’re going after it.” Other statewide races Attorney, general: Some observers believe Republicans have a better chance to win the attorney general’s office than the governor’s mansion. AG nominee Jim Baker of Houston offers them an opportunity they have never had before: a full-time, eminently qualified candidate with some name-identification, credibility in the state’s “establishment” \(with appeal, nonetheless, to “antifinanced campaign, and an open seat to shoot for. “Add to all of that,” says a Baker staffer, “the fact that this is a nonpresidential year, that Tower will be splitting Democratic votes, and that Carter’s popularity continues to drop, and you’ve got something really unique for us.” Despite all the favorable ingredients, Baker’s people are cautious. They too know their man is an underdog, as is any Republican in a statewide race. “I’m somewhat optimistic despite trying not to be too much so,” reports a Baker insider. “This is a low-visibility race to most voters, and it’s hard to get their attention. But if we raise enough money, I think we will win it.” Baker’s people are confident they can out-organize Mark White, but they also know that as a Democrat “[White] doesn’t need that kind of an organization.” They are not confident they can raise more money than the former secretary of state. Hopeful, but not confident. “We hear that he’s having trouble raising money,” says a Baker staff member of White. “He borrowed a lot during the primary. And Briscoe’s people are too busy trying to pay off Briscoe debts to worry about White. At least right now.” Baker is taking aim at the MexicanAmerican vote, figuring he has more to offer chicanos than does White. Baker’s independence from the existing state establishment is a selling point that has elicited good response in the Hispanic community. One of the things worrying the Baker camp is the drubbing taken by Briscoe in May. “The conservative Democratic es tablishment doesn’t really have a lot going for it right now. Mark White is it, and they may all pitch in to make him safe.” Despite the caution and recognition of their standing, Baker’s people are optimistic. And, as one says, “If it can’t be done this year with this kind of a candidate and this kind of money, then I’ll fold my tent and let others take the field.” Lieutenant governor: Gaylord Marshall of Dallas is the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor. He faces the problems that normally confront Republican candidates for statewide office: no name-identification, no money, little free time available for campaigning, and few people who care. The action is elsewhere. Most Texans will not remember that Gaylord Marshall was the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor in 1974, thereby making this year’s race a Hobby-Marshall rematch. Unfortunately for Republicans and their candidate, most Texans will not notice that Gaylord Marshall is the Republican nominee come November. Railroad Commission: Jim Lacy, an independent oilman from Midland, is the Republican nominee for the unexpired term on the Railroad Commission. Lacy’s opponent is John Poerner, the Briscoe appointee who swamped Jerry Sadler in the June run-off after Sadler fell just short of eliminating Poerner and his other opponents in May. Numerous local challenges for legislative seats and positions in county courthouses will do much to build a competitive second party. Lacy and Republican strategists were hopeful that Sadler would win the nomination, theorizing that enough money could then be raised to mount a “high visibility” campaign for the office. Despite Poerner’s win and a feeling that Republican chances are now significantly diminished, Lacy is continuing to wage a vigorous, full-time personal campaign. In this he sets himself apart from Marshall and is generating talk of a “sleeper” candidacy. Some might say despite his oil background \(he would say because Lacy has a sensitivity to consumer issues. He argues that at least one RCC member should be someone who knows the oil industry from the ground up. Lacy believes his experience at everything from roughneck to land man to corporate executive and independent operator will help him know when the industry is shooting straight with the commission and when it’s not. The current commissioners are obliged to act on faith, he argues. He would act on knowledge, and his judgments would be professional. Poerner has become the fair-haired boy of the major oil companies, which are treating Lacy like a leper. Despite the parsimony of big oil, Lacy has raised a modest amount of money and gotten. his campaign off the ground. His contributions have come from small, independent oilmen and hard-core Republican partisans. The bets are heavily against Lacy, but his commitment to the campaign and the level of his activity should let Poerner know he will have to work to keep the job. Local and legislative races In isolated spots around the state, Republicans are mounting serious grassroots challenges for seats in the Legislature and for positions in county courthouses. At their level, some of these races are as exciting as anything higher on the ballot, and if those involved in them are successful, they could do more to build a truly competitive second party than Tower, Clements and Baker combined. Most incumbent Republican members of the Legislature appear to be safe, so the party’s attention is focused on winning new seats. ARTthe Associated Republicans of Texashas pledged financial support to at least 15 legislative candidates, 14 of whom have already received base contributions of $1,000 to $2,500. Progress in the races will be monitored, and the candidates can expect a total of $3,000 to $10,000 each by Novembersums that can be decisive in legislative elections. In addition, the state party has a candidates’ fund of its own and will draw on it to help Republicans in races where financial support could determine the outcomes. Races have been targeted all over the state: in Beaumont, Houston, Lake Jackson, San Antonio, Victoria, Corpus Christi, Waco, Fort Worth, El Paso, Odessa, Floydada and Amarillo. Ed Emmett of Kingwood is an example of the kind of candidate the GOP is giving special help. A graduate of Rice and the LBJ School of Public Affairs, Emmett is running for the Texas House against incumbent Democrat Joe Allen of Baytown. Emmett’s practical political experience in Austin and Washington lends him credibility, and his aggressive campaign has raised a tidy amount of money and produced a corps of volunteers. Alas, like most Republicans, Emmett is the underdog. But his momentum is up, and Allen’s is down. He thinks they will pass before November. County races around the state also THE TEXAS OBSERVER 21