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a great number of contributions from the bankers, but you know there’s so much talk about that, about how much the industry puts into a campaign, I look at most of the races in those down-ballot races we’re not talking about the star races for governor, lieutenant governor and most of those people who were successful raised money from their family and friends. I think that was the case with Mauro, I know it was true in my case, the case of Hightower, so I don’t know how you get chicken and egg in becoming a credible candidate, but without a base of support and without friends who don’t have any interest in whatever the office is you’re running for, and without family who are willing to strap themselves a bit, you’re not going to win anyway. The base of support has to be there; the money simply cannot buy what it takes years in a down-ballot race like this to build. How would you describe your base of support? I think I’m a peculiar amalgam of a lot of things. Certainly women, because I’ve been teaching workshops for years. But those women were not Democrats or Republicans or independents; they were unified because of some issues that they had in common. And those workshops weren’t necessarily political workshops; a lot of them were image-building, feelgood-about-yourself kind of things. Secondly, of course, because of David’s [husband David Richards, an Austin attorney] association with labor and the fact that I know people in labor across the state, being married to him all these years, I had a lot of labor support going in. It was tough in the primary because [Lane] Denton worked very hard to get labor support too and did get some. A lot of it had to do with just being in politics so long. You know, I’ve been doing this since I was 19, and that’s 30 years. Why don’t you give us a brief political biography. Well, David and I were involved in politics since we were first married, and he was elected the president of Young Democrats at the University of Texas when we were both in school there. He appointed me parliamentarian of that meeting because I had just had a political science course in parliamentary procedure. The first real involvement that we had was to try to elect Sam Houston Clinton the president of the Young Democrats, and Edgar Berlin defeated him. In terms of statewide campaigns, I guess the first big one was Sarah Hughes running for the Supreme Court, and that 6 JULY 23, 1982 same year Henry Gonzalez ran for governor. And lots of little peripheral things like building floats for the homecoming parade. We built one in our garage here in Austin when David was in law school, and it was so awful looking, we couldn’t get anybody to pull it. We were going to hang a sign on it that said “This float is in the same shape as the Democratic Party in Texas.” Then we went to Dallas, and I was involved in all kinds of stuff up there. I worked in the Kennedy-Johnson race, I helped form a Democratic wo You cannot make a statewide race in this state for less than $400,000. men’s organization called North Dallas Democratic Women and that was during a really crazy time in Dallas. We wrote political shows called “Political Paranoia” they were wonderful. When I came back to Austin we had been in Dallas 11 years altogether I said I didn’t want to have anything more to do with politics. All I was given to do was not particularly challenging. I used to laugh and say the way you could tell the most important man in the office in a political campaign was the one in a three-piece suit with the longest telephone cord. Then when I got back here, I didn’t know what I was going to do, but I was certainly working on being a mamma and building a house, and Sarah Weddington called. She couldn’t find a man who was willing to advise her or help her run for state representative. She said “I understand you know a little bit about politics.” And I said “Yes, I do know a little bit.” And she said “Well, would you take this on?” And I said “Sure.” I was tickled to death to find somebody who would do what I told them to do. What year was that? 1972. So I did Sarah’s race. I liked that business of putting campaigns together. I really liked the background because that way on election day your job is over, and you can go home and be whomever you were before. Then Wilhelmina Delco’s [Austin state representative] campaign was the next big one. I worked, of course, in Gonzalo’s [Barrientos, Austin state representative], Johnny Trevino’s [Austin city councilman] you know, not doing anything really major. The notion of running for county commissioner was certainly one that would never have occurred to me. David was the one that was approached to run, and he would make a fantastic office-holder if someone would get a litter and go out and bring him into town and announce that he had been elected. So when the question came up about whether or not I would do it, I said I would only do it if the numbers were there. I really do appreciate knowing whether you can win or not; this business is too hard just as a token exercise. So I spent a month with David and the children down at the beach with the statistics on my precinct; I compared how well a woman could do and did do in some elections, and finally made that race and won it. And I liked doing that. I like the whole process of government itself. I don’t know how you define us as animals that like public service, except that to me it is really exciting to go in there, see a job that, needs to be done, and to know how to put the pieces together to make it happen. When this race come up before, and I said y’ll are crazy. When had it come up before? When Hartung’s bill went through the House in the legislative session, I did not think it was a good bill. Legislation that ends up looking like a Christmas tree with everybody’s ornament hanging on it to get it passed is not good legislation, and that’s what that was. It was just a tossed salad. The suggestion was that Warren [Harding] was the spokesperson for the bankers of Texas, and when I was asked about the possibility of making that race, it was tempting for the same reason that I ran for county commissioner. I saw someone in there whom I thought could be improved on. But I’d just been re-elected county commissioner, and it just didn’t make sense to throw that all up because for me it’s just a, personal choice you have to resign from your office to run for another one. You can’t do any credit to either