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;71.:402g: 320:**Kkedirialea n .,, w’ ..7..4702-08ttravir A Murry Kachel in Germany, holding photo he described as evidence of an assault by black soldiers Der Stern much for the Mexican authorities, who ordered the immediate release of the agents, their guns, and the two vehicles. “They [U.S. Customs] were ready to send a SWAT team. from Houston to try to get them out,” Gonzalez said, when the five men returned to Texas after twenty hours of negotiations. The incident was covered in two short, circumspect stories in the Del Rio NewsHerald and got even less space in Acutia’s daily Z6calo. Terry Bowen did not vote for D’Wayne Jernigan in the sheriff’s race. There is little comedy in Murry Kachel’s story. According to press reports, published photographs, and interviews with reporters for both the Armed Forces publication Stars and Stripes and the German newsmagazine Der Stern, Kachel was a member of the Ku Klux Klan while he was a young serviceman Kachel denies his Klan involvement and told reporters after the January 21 hearing in Judge Fred Biery’s court that he’d never been a member of the Klan and had never worn a Klan hood. When told that we have photographs and news articles from Germany, and that we have contacted the two reporters who did the 1981 Klan stories, Kachel said he had no comment and referred us to his attorney, who also would not comment on the Klan allegations. The election totals make clear that Jernigan and Kachel did have some local backing: Jernigan beat Gonzalez 5,373 to 5,106, while Kachel posted 1,266 votes to Frank Coronado’s 1,153. And there was local support for the two Republican candidates at the hearing, where some courthouse JERNIGAN ARRIVED IN MEXICO spectators wore Republi WITH AN ARMFUL OF DARE can Party pins, and one GIMME CAPS, A HANDFUL woman outside the court OF BALLOONS, AND A BOX room complained that “this OF “JUST SAY NO” PINS. town’s been run by the same crooked Mexican family for years.” The two Democrats are both from Del Rio: Gonzalez never left, and had worked as a sheriff’s deputy for nine years before he was appointed sheriff to fill a vacancy in January of 1996. Coronado spent twenty years working in California’s criminal justice system, where he had served as deputy commissioner of the Board of Prison Terms before he retired and returned to Del Rio in 1992. In 1994 he ran for county judge and lost to a Republican. In that election, Coronado was 400 votes ahead of his opponent until the absentee military votes were counted. He lost the election by 102 votes. Eliminate the FPCA vote in local elections, Coronado says, and continued, page 14 12 THE TEXAS OBSERVER FEBRUARY 14, 1997