Jim Mattox And then there’s the Steve Stockman Fan Club of Jackson, Mississippi. The Observer contacted Gladys Gill, who along with a dozen other Mississippi residents made a small contribution to the Stockman campaign last July. “I don’t know a whole lot about it,” she said. “I was invited to a reception in his honor…. It was held at a bed-and-breakfast near where I live, so it was very convenient. Also unlike a lot of these things it was in my price range I can’t go to those $250 ones.” The evening’s hostess was Robbie Hughes, Gill said, whose husband is in the oil business, and “who has done so much for so many candidates.” The crowd was small, mostly “local yokels,” who “got to meet Steve Stockman, and chatted with him about oil affairs in Texas. As it turned out, after I chatted with him and chatted with his wife about where they lived, it turns out they go to the same church my son goes to.” Gill said she found the candidate to be affable and wellinformed. While Stockman has Ed Meese and Gladys Gill on his team, Garza has former Secretary of State James Baker III, who pledged his support at a Houston reception last fall, and endorsements from fifty-seven Republican members of the state legislature. He’s also Alan Pogue raised over $800,000. In his tenure as Cameron County Judge and then as Governor Bush’s Secretary of State, Garza had fewer opportunities than Stockman to fight for the oil and gas industry, but he’s earned his deregulatory, free-market stripes by cheering for NAFTA, fighting in court against voting rights for blind voters, and finally by asking Congress to exempt Texas from the protections of the Voting Rights Act. In an attempt to build a little mojo for his first campaign for statewide office in 1994, when he ran in the Republican primary for attorney general, Garza made the argument for trying fourteen-year-olds as adults. After Garza’s campaign foundered, Bush found him a job, as Secretary of State and a function, as Hispanic recruiting agent for the Republican Party. Garza’s agenda as Railroad Commissioner, he wrote in a January letter to “Fellow Texans,” would be to abide by his “core conservative principles: smaller, more efficient GARZA’S EARNED HIS DEREGULATORY, FREE-MARKET STRIPES BY CHEERING FOR NAFTA, FIGHTING IN COURT AGAINST VOTING RIGHTS FOR BLIND VOTERS, AND BY ASKING CONGRESS TO EXEMPT TEXAS FROM THE PROTECTIONS OF THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT. FEBRIJARY 27, 1998 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 7 1./
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