GOP Candidates Walk Fine Line Between Primary, General

During his 1990 runoff against Ann Richards, Jim Mattox worried out loud about the perils of primary elections. The problem, he said, was that to win the Democratic primary, he might have to run so far to the left that he would be unacceptable to the more moderate general election voters who would choose the next governor.

Mattox lost that remarkable runoff, in which he attacked Richards’ character rather than trying to run to her left. And he turned out to be wrong about that general election, largely because Richards’ Republican opponent, Clayton Williams, was a disastrously prolific quote machine ...

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