Page 18


gressive candidate in this race. The Observer advises you to vote your heart, feel good about voting for a progressive and let the fates line up the general election. In other races… Governor Ann Richards will have no trouble getting past fellow Democrat Gary Espinosa of Palestine, a retired single parent who is concerned about violence in the schools. In the most contested down-ballot race, outside of the judicial races, which are treated elsewhere in this issue, Railroad Commissioner Jim Nugent faces a Democratic primary challenge from Robert Earley, a legislator from Portland who has attacked Nugent on intrastate trucking rates and on the commission’s minority hiring record. Mary Scott Nabers, running for the unexpired term on the Railroad Commission, faces David Young of Austin in the Democratic primary. State Treasurer Martha Whitehead, who has come out in favor of abolishing the office and placing its duties with the State Comptroller of Public Accounts, faces Grady Yarbrough, a Flint teacher, in the Democratic primary. In Democratic primary races for Congress, the Observer endorses: Representative Charles Wilson in the 2nd District, a relatively progressive Congressman, particularly now that he has brought down the Soviet empire and can focus on domestic matters. He is seeking an 11th term representing Deep East Texas. In the Democratic primary he faces Edgar J. Groce, self-employed, of Cleveland. Boll Weevil Representative Ralph M. Hall, among the least loyal Democratic members of Congress, but occasionally he casts a good vote, as in his opposition to NAFTA. His Democratic primary challenger, Doug Dudley, a Tyler teacher, has the endorsement of the Texas AFL-CIO on principle, but this is not a good time to risk handing over the district to the winner of the Republican primary between David Bridges, a Rockwall lawyer, and Tim McCord, a Wylie software engineer. Representative John Bryant of Dallas, a member of the Budget, Energy and Commerce, and Judiciary committees, where he is chairman of administrative law and government relations, is a liberal populist who faces William A. Foster III, a professor from Hearne, in the Democratic primary. Representative Jack Brooks of Beaumont, seeking his 22nd term representing the 9th District. Liberals need a tough House Judiciary chairman with some libertarian instincts, as Brooks has shown, as Congress heads into another crime-fighting session with a Senate fully prepared to roll over on the Bill of Rights. Brooks drew a Democratic primary opponent in Geraldine Sam, a LaMarque schoolteacher. Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Doggett will make an outstanding successor to Jake Pickle in Travis County’s 10th District, but first the liberal justice and former state senator must defeat John Longworth, a little-known real estate salesman, in the Democratic primary and then to the general election. Three Republican candidates, Jo Baylor, Bryce Goodman and Herbert Spiro, will liven up an otherwise sparsely attended GOP primary. Representative Kika de la Garza, the moderately liberal Agriculture Chairman from Mission, who drew Democratic primary challengers in Rigo Martinez, a Pharr lawyer, and Eli Ochod, a Mission engineer. Representative Craig Washington of Houston is the state’s most liberal congressman. He got a Democratic primary challenge from Houston City Councilwoman Sheila Jackson Lee after the Houston Chronicle, on behalf of the city’s business establishment, published what amounted to an open invitation for an opponent to file. Washington believes the challenge arose from his opposition to, among other things, NAFTA and the Superconducting Supercollider. Washington also believes that, his home district notwithstanding, as long as 600,000 people somewhere in Texas believe in the way he votes, he is doing his job. He just hopes 200,000 or so people in the 18th District agree with him on election day. “The problem in Houston is we have six Congressmen, three Democrats and three Republicans, and these guys downtown want all six of us to vote the same way even though the people of Houston don’t all think the same way. … They’re fucking greedy,” he said of the business establishment, giving a hint as to why the Chronicle despises him and why we think he deserves another term. In the Central Houston 25th Congressional District, Paul Colbert is the best of the candidates who have filed for the seat vacated by Democrat Mike Andrews. Colbert had a moderate-progressive record as a state representative before he stepped down last year and he has received the endorsement of organized labor. Ken Bentsen Jr., an investment banker, is nephew of Lloyd Bentsen but he reportedly is the liberal black sheep of the family and impressed Harris County liberals such as Billie Carr with his leadership of the county Democratic Party over the past four years. Can -in Patman, a lawyer, daughter of former Congressman Bill Patman and granddaughter of the late Wright Patman, also has her supporters; as does Beverly Clark, an engineering coordinator and former Houston city councilwoman. Joel F. DeJean, a Lyndon LaRouche associate, also is in the Democratic primary. Representative Gene Green, the progressive congressman from Houston, seeks a second term in the 29th District, which is 60 percent Hispanic and 10 percent black. That district might make good use of a progressive Hispanic candidate, but that candidate is not Ben Reyes, the Houston City Councilman and political hack who lost to Green in the 1992 Democratic primary and then endorsed the Republican candidate in the general election. This time Reyes is cyhically attempting to exploit Green’s votes against the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Brady Bill, which establishes a five-day waiting period for gun purchases. In this election, Green, who has the support of organized labor, is a better choice. In races where we don’t know enough about the Democratic challengers to endorse them but we wish them luck against hardright conservatives who need to get back into private enterprise: In the South Houston 22nd District Scott Douglas Cunningham, 34, a Bellaire lawyer, faces Philip Butcher, 39, a Houston political organizer, in the Democratic primary. The winner takes on Representative Tom DeLay in November. LeEarl Ann. Bryant, a Richardson engineering, consultant, faces Jerry Coker, a Coppell telephone manager, for the Democratic nomination to take on Representative Dick Armey, R-Lewisville, in the 26th District. State Senate primaries of Mount Pleasant \(20 percent progressive, according to the Observer’ s scorecard from has no Republican opponent but in November will face the winner of the Democratic primary between VaLinda Hathcox, a Sulphur Springs lawyer and businesswoman who has received the endorsement of organized labor, and George Lavender, a Texarkana radio station owner. a Hispanic majority drew Democrats Mario Yolanda Navarro Flores \(65-86 percent proMartinez, a former legislator \(50 percent Thomas McCullough. Wanda Howell Lewis filed as a Republican. After scrutinizing the ballot, the Observer found a Republican to endorse in Senate Wentworth of San Antonio, seeking re-election in the redrawn district, was 15 percent progressive with occasional libertarian streaks; hewill face former San Antonio City Councilman Van Archer, an anti-tax activist, in the Republican primary. faces Miguel D. “Mike” Wise, a Mercedes businessman and lawyer, in the Democratic primary; Ismael Morgan of Edinburg filed as a Republican. Editor’s Note: Early voting for the March 8 primaries starts February 16 and goes through the 26th. J.C. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 5