LUNCH DINNER SUNDAY BRUNCH 414 BARTON SPRINGS AT SOUTH 1ST AUSTIN, TEXAS 512/476-4838 20 SEPTEMBER 7, 1979 Life Insurance and Annuities Martin Elfant, CLU &stile 600 Jefferson St., Houston, TX 77002 CANDA OF’` The GOP. from page 8 have never held a Republican primary for the simple reason that there’s been no local Republican chairman to administer one. Yet primary elections are indispensable for party growth. According to Wayne Thorburn, executive director of the state party, the Clements staff has helped fill ‘a lot of these county chairman vacancies with people who worked in the Clements campaign or who have been recommended by the governor’s campaign committee. As a result, Thorburn expects more counties to hold a Republican primary in 1980 than ever before. Dallas County Democratic chairman Ron Kessler says he doesn’t feel threatened by Clements in this regard. “The presidential campaigns of George Bush and John Connally are a much bigger threat to the Democratic party than Bill Clements is as governor,” he said. Many Republicans believe Clements strengthened the party organization when he named state GOP chairman Ray . Barnhart to the Texas Highway Commission, thus opening the door to new chairman Chet Upham. Barnhart was a symbol of past divisiveneSs in the party and was viewed with suspicion by many long-time party activists even after he made peace with U.S. Sen. John Tower last year. Upham has no such liabilities. Clements has also begun holding luncheon meetings with party workers from around the state to give tangible evidence of his interest in the party. By the middle of next year his aides plan to have one such meeting on Clements’ agenda each week. Being a good governor People close to Clements emphasize his belief that the best thing he can do for the Republican Party is to do a good job as governor. Former Clements foe Ray Hutchison agrees with that judgment. “He’s building the party by doing a good job,” Hutchison said. Recent polls show that a majority of Texans approve of Clements’ performance as governor. And the prestige of his office and his own popularity are, in themselves, assets to the Republican Party. But there have been complaints from Republicans that the Clements administration has not kept in close enough touch with GOP officeholders and party officials. Appointments have been announced without prior notice to Republi= can officials in the appointees’ hometowns; appearances by the governor arranged by local elected Republicans have been canceled without warning; and appearances on general public business have been made without notifying local officials. In other cases Clements has appeared for speeches and made kind remarks about local Demo
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