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Continued from page 5 running against Bernard Erickson \(see Poprobably be a better choice than his challenger. In District 59, Democrat Curtis Paul Ramsey, a TWU professor, takes on incumbent Republican Jim Horn in a safe GOP seat around Denton. FORT WORTH AREA In District 63, Democrat Ric Williamson of Weatherford is an issues-oriented legislator, who last session was dead wrong on education finance. We frequently disagree with him but he’s far better than his opponent. And in District 64 west of Fort Worth, it seems that the loathsome legacy of Republican incumbent Rick Perry, whom the Farm Bureau recruited to take on Jim Hightower for agriculture commissioner, will be carried on by either Democrat John Cook or Republican Fred Gough. Insiders call this one a tossup; we’d just as soon toss ’em both. At last we come to the big race of 1990, District 89’s contest between Speaker Gib Lewis and Republican Charles Gore. The GOP isn’t too enthusiastic about challenging Lewis, who is Republican in all but name. But trial lawyers, still furious at Lewis for workers’ comp and other battles, supposedly bankrolled Gore, who has raised proper questions about the Speaker’s always-questionable ethics. However, Gore, a former Colleyville City Councilman who was trounced in his bid for reelection, hasn’t got much of a program except for an interest in suppressing the press. Despite our disappointment with Gib, whose record is as twisted as his syntax , he has done the right thing occasionally. Lewis may not like fellow Democrat Kay Taebel in District 94 \(having attended a fundraiser for her Republican opponent, inbeen a longtime activist on women’s issues and other progressive issues and we endorse her with enthusiasm. In District 91, anyone would be better than incumbent Republican Bill Carter, including Democrat Alton Easton, but it’s an impossible district for a Democrat. And we support Democrat George Petrovich over Republican Kim Brimer; the District 96 incumbent has the credentials of a credenza, and the House has enough furniture. WEST TEXAS The political outlook out here is as bleak as the landscape; we’d say it’s full of uphill battles for progressives, if there were any hills. In District 67, former Farm Bureau lobbyist Harvey Hilderbran of Uvalde is the Republican incumbent, and might not pass an EKG test; we endorse Democrat Lester Dahlberg. In District 70, we endorse that walking oxymoron, an intelligent, compassionate Republican, Jack Vowell over all comers, including, this time, Democrat Paula L. Thomas. She might be good, but we’ll go with Vowell’s proven track record he’s been a leader in human services fights for years, and is a genuinely good guy. In another El Paso race, Democrat Jim Allen is the choice over incumbent Pat Haggerty in District 71. In District 75, the opposite situation prevails, where sitting Democrat Gary Watkins faces Lonnie Sims in Odessa. We’ll stay with Watkins. In District 78, we again endorse our Democratic primary choice, David Counts, over Republican Tom Pennington. In District 88, Dick Waterfield of Canadian is giving up his seat to take on Bill Sarpalius for Congress. We endorse former district judge Guy Hazlett, who has a tough race against David Swinford in a far north district that voted for Beau Boulter over Lloyd Bentsen in 1988. Nevertheless, Hazlett’s reputation is so good that he has more than a fighting chance. In District 81, Democrat insurance lobbyist John Gavin has retired, which pits Democrat John Hirschi against Republican Tom Haywood. Hirschi is one of the best candidates in the state: he’s a longtime Common Cause member who has supported populist organizations and been very active on behalf of average folks. In spite of that, he could actually win. He’s old Wichita Falls money and family. In District 83, Bidal Aguero, a Spanish-language newspaper publisher in Lubbock, faces incumbent Republican Delwin Jones. Aguero is at least interesting; he switched from Jesse Jackson to George Bush after Jackson lost to Dukakis. A flake, perhaps, but still better than Jones. DALLAS AREA The next two races in unassailable Republican bastions are almost impossible for Democrats, but we salute the challengers who signed up against the odds. In District 98, we endorse Democrat Mike Moore as he takes on incumbent Gwyn Shea of Irving. When Pat Hill gave up her safe suburban Dallas seat in District 102 to run unsuccessfully for AG, it left the door open for fellow Republican Will Hartnett to replace her; we endorse the Democrat, Goldye Levi. District 106 does have an incumbent Democrat, Bill Arnold of Grand Prairie, but he’s a disgrace to the party no endorsement. In District 107, however, we endorse the smart and reliable Democrat David Cain. SAN ANTONIO AREA One race which has attracted lots of attention is District 115, which Orlando Garcia vacated to run for the Fourth Court of Appeals. Since Garcia resigned after the primary, it fell to party leaders to designate a nominee, and they chose wisely, picking party activist Leticia Van de Putte. The Republicans weren’t even going to bother to nominate anyone for this reliably Democratic seat, until a 24-year-old Baylor grad with no experience, but who claimed he’d always wanted to be a state representative \(showing questionable politiWhat the GOP was interested in was the novice’s name; don’t have a cow, man, it’s … Bart Simpson. \(Both BS and his Republican sponsors freely, if cynically, admit that they’re gambling on his name ID; after all, while; then we remember Warren G. Harding, Jesse James. Gene Kelly, Don Yarbrough …. And besides, we kinda like the real Bart Simpson. We urge the people of District 115 to get out and vote for Van de Putte, and make sure Simpson is outa here, man. In Districts 122 and 123, we endorse Democrats Peter Koelling and Melvin Eichelbaum over their awful opponents, incumbents George Pierce and Jeff Wentworth, in impregnable GOP territory in north San Antonio. HOUSTON AREA We have no endorsement in District 127, which features two unpalatable candidates. Tony Polumbo has at last vacated District 128; Fred Bosse seeks to maintain Democratic control over the seat, and we endorse him. District 129 offers a chance for Democratic inroads, because the area is more reasonable than Republican incumbent Mike Jackson. Challenger Harold Shaffer is a union activist in the mold of Jackson’s predecessor Ed Watson; we support him. District 130 incumbent Randy Pennington is widely disliked, hard-right, and ineffective, but challenger Doug Posey doesn’t seem to be campaigning very hard. In District 132, loquacious Democratic incumbent Paul Colbert is one of the brightest members of this or any other Legislature, and his considerable achievements almost match his ego. We give him a strong endorsement. Obnoxious Brad Wright was always wrong in District 134; his retirement leaves an opening for Democrat Sue Schechter, whom we endorse. Schechter stands for all the right things and has been active in women’s issues. Strong endorsements as well go to labor Democrat challengers Ken Yarbrough and Kevin Bailey, who both lost close races to their current opponents last year in races to fill vacant seats, and have a good shot to unseat Republican incumbents Ken VanderVoort and Charlie Hartland \(light of weight districts 138 and 140. Bailey was an aide to progressive and sharp Houston city councilman Dale Gorczynski and comes highly acclaimed. Yarbrough is a union man with a good name. Highest praise and best wishes also go to District 139 incumbent Sylvester Turner, who had a good freshman year in the House. Equally heartfelt endorsements go to Democrat incumbents Ralph Wallace Erwin Barton sionate chair of the House human services committee who for years has been there every time progressives have needed him. Both men faces tough races in changing districts. Finally, in District 146, what can we say about Al Edwards that hasn’t been said or snickered about already? Not much. B.C. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 21