TEXAS ROUNDUP The Senate, House, Congress, Judiciary and the Railroad Commission Liberals victorious, some casualties, and the coming Speaker’s contest Bill Moore is out of the Senate. John Bryant will probably be the next House Speaker. Those are the most important results of the May primaries, although the full measure of support for Bryant’s speakership candidacy won’t be realized until after the June 7 runoffs. In the case of Moore, the agony of defeat can be fully gloated upon right now. Kent Caperton’s upset of Moore ended the 32-year political career of the most corrupt, unreasonable, petty, arrogant, tyrannical, nasty and go ahead, say it despicable legislator in the state, maybe the solar system. Even with Moore’s proteges still in office, it is impossible to imagine the Senate being quite so rotten without the Bull of the Brazos. The Senate The good news about Moore was tempered with the bad news about Ron Waters, the liberal former state representative who almost, but not quite, unseated incumbent Sen. Jack Ogg in Houston’s 15th senatorial district. Waters lost by a measly 400 votes, but says now he’ll support the conservative Ogg against the winner of the GOP runoff, Richard Parker or 0. J. Striegler. Two key Senate liberals, and ex-Killer Bees, were renominated Sen. A. R. “Babe” Schwartz of Galveston and Sen. Carlos Truan of Corpus Christi. Schwartz is ecstatic about Moore’s defeat the two men were near-mortal enemies. Moore once attacked Schwartz, physically, in the Senate, and Schwartz has described Moore as “a continuing influence of evil.” In November, Schwartz, a two decade legislative veteran, faces the winner of the GOP runoff, James “Buster” Brown or Ed Stuart. Sen. Carlos Truan, targeted by business interests in hometown Corpus Christi, defeated former Nueces County Democratic Chairman William Whittle in a good show of strength. He faces Republican Dr. Marco Eugenio of Corpus Christi in November. In Central Texas, Rep. John Wilson, D-La Grange, beat Temple attorney James Lee Carroll for the state senate seat vacated by Sen. Bill Patman of Ganado. Wilson had a moderate voting record in the House. In West Texas, incumbent Sen. Grant Jones of Abilene was renominated and has no GOP opponent. The remaining senate races were giveaways. Democrats Gene Jones of Houston, Carl Parker of Port Arthur, Ron Clower of Garland, Glenn Kothmann of San Antonio and H. Tati Santiesteban of El Paso had no primary opponent. Ron Kessler, former Dallas Democratic party chairman, had no primary opponent in seeking the vacant District 16 position, but he’ll face Republican John Leedom in November. On the GOP side, incumbent Sens. Ike Harris of Dallas, Walter “Mad Dog” Mengden of Houston and Bob Price of Pampa had no May contests. Fifteen members of the 31-member Senate are holdovers and do not face re-election until 1982. The House The important question in the House races was not merely who won, but who the winners will support for speaker in the 1981 legislative session. All this speaker stuff who’ll take the place of Brilab-tainted Bill Clayton involves a combination of hard pledges, wishful thinking and outright lies, but there seems good reason to believe Rep. John Bryant, D-Dallas, emerged from the primary with more support than his rivals. Bryant strategists think they have between 60 and 70 votes toward the 76 they need to sew up the most powerful job in the House. A net gain of six Bryant supporters came from the May primary, while other speaker candidates, such as Clayton surrogate Gib Lewis, D-Fort Worth, had a net loss of a supporter or two. Bryant also figures on gaining pledges in up to half of the 14 House runoff contests. Even half of half would put him very near the magic number. Liberals suffered at least one major casualty on May 3, the personable and expansible Rep. Dave Allred of Wichita Falls, who was upset by ex-hometown mayor John Gavin. Rep. Fred Head of Athens, a liberal of sorts, got whupped by one Elton Bomer of Montalba. In 1972, Head surprised a lot of people by beating Rep. Rayford Price of Palestine, a real up-and-corner-speaker-type, retiring Price from elected state politics. Other House incumbents beaten were Mike Ezzell of Snyder \(by Larry Shaw of by Among the primary winners we’ll probably see next January for the 67th legislature: Reps. Betty Denton of Waco, Paul Ragsdale of Dallas, Mary Jane Bode of Austin, Matt Garcia of San John Whitmire, Ron Wilson, Senfronia Thompson and Craig Washington, all from Space City, Dan Kubiak of Rockdale, Sam The Spam Hudson of Dallas, Tom Uher of Bay City, and Republicans Frank Gaston of Dallas and Chase Untermeyer of Houston. The fourteen June 7 House runoffs all involve Democrats and except for four contests are for seats in which there is no incumbent. One incumbent under seige, thank goodness, is conservative Rep. Don Cartwright, D-San Antonio, in District 57H. He’s being challenged by his former legislative aide, Joyce Dorrycott, a political science instructor at Southwest Texas University. Dorrycott is running a pro-consumer campaign, which sets her apart from Cartwright right away. She also wants improvements in Bexar County health services. Cartwright is running a dirty campaign and has good reason to be worried about getting turned out. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 13
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