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‹ 1986 Texas 1994
Texas gubernatorial election, 1990
November 6, 1990
Ann-Richards-STS-40-JSC-visit-1992.jpg Replace this image male.svg
Candidate Ann Richards Clayton Williams
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 1,925,670 1,826,431
Percentage 49.47% 46.92 %
TXGov1990Map.png
Results by county

Previous Governor
Bill Clements
Republican

Governor-elect
Anne Richards
Democratic

The 1990 Texas gubernatorial election was held on November 6, 1990 to select the Governor of the state of Texas.

Contents

Primaries

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Republicans

Incumbent Republican Governor Bill Clements announced early in the year that he would not be seeking reelection. The candidates to succeed him were:

Democrats

"Claytie vs. The Lady vs. The Libertarian"

Williams spent freely from his personal fortune, running a "Good Old Boy" campaign initially appealing to conservatives.[1] Prior to a series of legendary gaffes, he was leading Richards (the race was dubbed "Claytie vs. The Lady")[2] in the polls and was in striking distance of becoming only the second Republican governor of Texas since Reconstruction. Meanwhile, Libertarian nominee Jeff Daiell was launching a TV campaign which, combined with personal appearances across Texas, boosted him to a showing of 129,128 votes. His drawing power made Richards the first Texas governor in many years elected without a majority.[3].

In one of his widely-publicized missteps, Williams refused to shake hands with Ann Richards in a public debate, an act seen as uncouth. Senator John Tower had similarly refused to shake the hand of Democratic opponent Robert Krueger in a 1978 appearance in Houston[citation needed] but went on to win a fourth term by a narrow margin.

Earlier, Williams made an infamous joke to reporters, likening bad weather to rape, having quipped: "If it's inevitable, just relax and enjoy it".[4] In addition, it has been claimed that as an undergraduate at Texas A&M, he had participated in visits to the Chicken Ranch, a well-known Texas brothel in La Grange, and the Boy's Towns of Mexico.[5][6] His sense of humor was again demonstrated when he urged Hispanic Americans to support his candidacy because he met Modesta in a Mexican restaurant[citation needed]. As a result of his reported comments, Williams was occasionally parodied, such as in the mock political ad, "Satan Williams," which appeared on Dallas/Fort Worth public television during the 1990 campaign season.[7]

Results

1990 Texas Governor's Race
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Ann Richards 1,925,670 49.47%
Republican Clayton W. "Claytie" Williams, Jr. 1,826,431 46.92%
Libertarian Jeff Daiell 129,128 3.32%
Majority 99,239 2.55%
Turnout 3,892,746
Democratic gain from Republican Swing

Race for Lieutenant Governor

The office of lieutenant governor was up for reelection on a separate ticket. Democratic incumbent William P. Hobby, Jr. retired after holding the office for eighteen years. State Comptroller Bob Bullock ran as a Democrat to succeed Hobby. He defeated the Republican candidate, Robert Mosbacher, Jr., 53% to 44%.

References


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