News and Document archive source
copyrighted material disclaimer at bottom of page

NewsMinecabal-elitew-administrationw-bush — Viewing Item


Bush loses congress election 1978 texas

Original Source Link: (May no longer be active)
   http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/aponline/19991017/aponline114059_000.htm

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/aponline/19991017/aponline114059_000.htm

Bush Wasn't Always a Front-Runner
By Michael Holmes
Associated Press Writer
Sunday, Oct. 17, 1999; 11:40 a.m. EDT

AUSTIN, Texas On the stump, George W. Bush was for business, against government regulation and intent on running as his own man despite a well-known father.

"Responsibility," he said, "is a good thing to learn."

The year: 1978.

Bush was making his first bid for elected office for a House seat. He lost.

Much has changed since that congressional campaign. Much has stayed the same.

"He was conservative and a personable young man," says Jane Anne Stinnett of Lubbock. "Still is."



Bush was in the oil business in Midland, his childhood hometown, when he announced his candidacy in July 1977 for the House seat representing West Texas' 19th District.

"George just drove into town one day and started walking down a strip mall shopping center," said Mike Weiss, who was to become his Lubbock campaign chairman. "I happened to be in a men's store. He walked up and introduced himself. I liked him." The two met again the next day, talked, "and I signed on."

West Texas in 1978, like much of the state, was solidly Democratic. No Republican had been elected governor in 100 years. Democrats controlled politics from the Statehouse to the courthouses.

"There was a pretty general feeling that Republicans couldn't get elected," Weiss said.

But Bush's first problem was not a Democrat; it was the GOP primary.

He was challenged by Jim Reese, a conservative Republican and former Odessa mayor who was defeated two years earlier in a bid for the House seat, and Joe Hickox of Shallowater. Bush led the primary with 6,296 votes and bested Reese in a runoff.

Bush's general election opponent, Democrat Kent Hance, was a state senator from Lubbock, the district's biggest city.

There were not many philosophical disagreements. Bush said Hance would make a good Republican. Hance said Bush would make a good conservative Democrat.

"On issues of oil and gas, inflation, national defense, the public works bill and extension of time to pass the Equal Rights Amendment, Hance and Bush were as compatible as two warts on a toad," the Midland Reporter-Telegram wrote.

Hance, who now practices law in Austin, recalls that they were asked about gun control at a forum. "Every candidate was against it. When they finally got down to me, I said, 'Not only am I against it if they ever pass it and try to get your guns, I'll come over to your house and help you.' Even Bush laughed at that."

Bush's campaign speeches were peppered with lines today's audiences will recognize.

On the economy: Government "should help people realize their American dream. People should be given a chance to realize their own ambitions."

On personal responsibility: "In my view, individuals need to solve their own problems. The federal government hurts what we are trying to achieve."

On negative campaigning: "Our whole thing is to keep it positive. People are tired of negative politicians ... I'm convinced people are looking for somebody to say, 'Here's what's good.'"

On the influence of his father, who had been a congressman, U.S. Senate candidate, GOP chairman, CIA director and U.S. envoy to China: "We don't need dad in this race."

Hance made an issue of Bush's family ties and his prep school, Ivy League education. He even poked fun at Bush's jogging.

"We tried to make it Texas Tech vs. Yale. And in that district, the Red Raiders will beat the Bulldogs every time," Hance recalls.

Bush responded, "Would you like me to run as Sam Smith? The problem is I can't abandon my background. I'm not trying to hide behind any facade."

Bush proved a tough opponent.

"Our original strategy was that I'd be the good guy next door, and Bush would be the outsider," Hance said.

"After a few months, at a strategy session, one of my guys said, 'You know, he's turning out to be a good ol' boy.' After that, Bush was the guy next door but I'd be in their house, one of the relatives."

Then, as now, Bush was a prodigious fund-raiser. Between July 1 and Sept. 30, he raised $207,558. Hance pulled in just $74,822.

A "Bush Bash" ad in Texas Tech's student newspaper offered "free beer-music." Hance's campaign launched an 11th-hour attack, but he says he does not think that played a role in the outcome.

A key factor, both sides agree, was demographics.

Bush's background was in the oil business and Midland was an oil town. Lubbock and much of the rest of the High Plains district was farm and ranch country. Lubbock was Hance territory. He had represented much of the region in the state Senate.

"Hance worked the rural areas extremely well. He had friendships built up over 10, 15 years that were impossible to overcome in the period of time we had," Weiss said. "If they had played that football game another quarter, we'd have won."

Hance says Election Day arrived in the nick of time.

"It was Bush's first campaign, and he improved every week. By the end of the race, he was an excellent candidate. I really didn't want another month of campaigning. There was no doubt in my mind that I didn't want to face him again, either," Hance said.

When the votes were counted, Hance had 54,729; Bush got 48,070.

The Democrat went to Congress, backed Ronald Reagan's tax cut and eventually became a Republican.

Bush went back to the oil business in Midland and eventually bought a piece of the Texas Rangers baseball team.

When Bush announced plans in 1993 to challenge popular Democratic Gov. Ann Richards, one of his first contributions was a $10,000 check from Kent Hance.

"When I handed him that check, he laughed and said, 'Fifteen years ago a lot of people from Midland wouldn't have believed this,'" Hance recalled. "I said a lot of people from Lubbock wouldn't have believed it, either."

Copyright 1999 The Associated Press



awol
controlled-president
daughters
margie-schoedinger
satire-pics
Americans now doubt bush ethical standards
April 2004 [jpg]
Arab waiter barred from bush dinner { December 12 2003 }
Author fortunate son murdered { July 21 2001 }
Baghdad thanksgiving with selected soldiers { December 12 2003 }
Behind bush
Blair defends george bush london visit { November 17 2003 }
Bush 2000 against nation building and poor nation debt { October 11 2000 }
Bush 2004 strategy { April 22 2003 }
Bush acts crazy and paranoid says aides
Bush and bono have lunch { September 2005 } [jpg]
Bush arrested cocaine 1972
Bush asks condi to go poddy [jpg]
Bush asks condi to go poddy { September 14 2005 }
Bush asks condi to poddy [jpg]
Bush asks court nominees about excercise { July 21 2005 }
Bush aug 2005 approval plummeting
Bush austin powers { July 23 2002 }
Bush biographer murdered { July 20 2001 }
Bush blackhawks wreck queens garden
Bush calls french chirac good cowboy
Bush calls whitehouse the peoples house
Bush campaign criticize imf { October 13 2000 }
Bush campaign wants troops home { October 12 2000 }
Bush carrier speech explanation { May 7 2003 }
Bush compares troops america to nfl { September 4 2003 }
Bush defeated in 1978 as carpetbagger { March 29 1999 }
Bush defends islam
Bush defends outsourcing in heartland
Bush demands more police powers against terror
Bush denies torture while defending cia torture
Bush expands intel chief power over fbi { June 30 2005 }
Bush falls mountain biking again { July 26 2004 }
Bush falls off mountain bike { May 23 2004 }
Bush fell off bike 2004 [jpg]
Bush fell pretzel [jpg]
Bush flashes bird [jpg]
Bush gesture interpreted as salute to satan
Bush goes on vacation again
Bush heil reuters june 14 2005 [jpg]
Bush insists on overtime reform { October 2 2003 }
Bush job approval hits 29 precent { May 11 2006 }
Bush jokes about circumventing elections { October 2007 }
Bush jokes about skull and bones
Bush keeping secrets away from public
Bush left behind [jpg]
Bush loses congress election 1978 texas
Bush lowest popularity in presidency { September 6 2003 }
Bush lunches press pre speech { January 28 2003 }
Bush makes international law scoff comment
Bush meets with nato leaders { February 22 2005 }
Bush mount rushmore [jpg]
Bush painted as wealthy outsider from east
Bush press conferences staged
Bush quotes koran in speech defending iraq war { November 11 2005 }
Bush ratings lowest level november 2005
Bush reagan revolution { February 4 2003 }
Bush requests not be embarrassed by protests
Bush resume
Bush savaged by former treasury chief { January 9 2004 }
Bush says climate change is man made { July 5 2005 }
Bush says free trade will give americans jobs { October 13 2007 }
Bush says hes thinking of new ways to harm our people
Bush says isolation bad and clinton is close friend
Bush says patriot act doesnt erode liberties
Bush says they hate us for being arrogant { October 11 2000 }
Bush scares aides with obscene tirades
Bush sedated { June 28 2002 }
Bush signing statement bypass torture law { January 11 2006 }
Bush spends 40 percent time out of office { April 12 2004 }
Bush strangles [jpg]
Bush supporters more biased against blacks { January 30 2006 }
Bush throws baseball apr04 [jpg]
Bush took cocaine at camp david
Bush under 50perc 2004
Bush unfamiliar with voting rights act
Bush upset with media for reporting bank mining { June 27 2006 }
Bush uses 911 link in iraq speech { September 11 2001 }
Bush w clames to be a texan { January 20 2005 }
Bush wants domestic intelligence like britain { April 13 2004 }
Bush wants more power against terrorism
Bush wants pentagon to lead in disasters
Bush with baby [jpg]
Bushlizard [jpg]
Community work 1973 for community service for drug charges
Critics slam bush india nuclear deal { March 2 2006 }
First lady bush [jpg]
Hair cut afghan
House report blames bush on katrina
Increasing mental lapses worry bush aides { October 2005 }
Keepers bush image { May 16 2003 }
Learn meaning american justice { May 14 2003 }
Letterman shows bored boy during bush speech { April 1 2004 }
March 2005 approval rating lowest of bush presidency
President bush pardons cocaine dealer { December 21 2005 }
Prevpres buttout
Pro bush supporter drives over american flags
Reunion yale frayed ties { April 21 2003 }
Sister in law denies bush cocaine use { September 9 2004 }
Some dispute bush account of 73 charity work
Study of conservatism psyche { August 13 2003 }
Support strong yet tax cut doubts { May 14 2003 }
Taped conversations reveal w bush marijuana use { February 20 2005 }
Turkey trip to baghdad { December 4 2003 }
War is peace

Files Listed: 105



Correction/submissions

CIA FOIA Archive

National Security
Archives
Support one-state solution for Israel and Palestine Tea Party bumper stickers JFK for Dummies, The Assassination made simple