Year of the Texas Woman?
Sissy Farenthold, Barbara Jordan, Ann
Richards, and the 1972 Election in Texas
Blake Ellis, Ph.D.
40 Years Later: Wendy Davis
“Stand With Texas Women” Seemed to
Come Out of Nowhere . . . But Did It?
Texas Politics in 1972:
• In the 1950s and 1960s, Texas elections were usually
dominated by three important groups: Conser...
1972 Presidential Election:
• In Texas, Conservative
Richard Nixon defeats liberal
George McGovern 66
percent to 33 percen...
Sissy Farenthold for Governor
Governor Preston Smith and
Lieutenant Governor Ben Barnes
• Preston Smith: Conservative
Democrat, Elected Governor in 1968...
Sharpstown: Touched Many
Texas Politicians
The “Dirty Thirty”
• A group of thirty Texas
legislators that kept the
Sharpstown scandal in the
headlines, pressuring
Gov...
1972 Governor’s Race:
“Establishment” Candidates
• Governor Preston Smith (Conservative Democrat)
• Lieutenant Governor Be...
Frances “Sissy” Farenthold
• Rallied the “Yarborough Democrats,” appealing to liberals, labor unions,
African Americans, L...
Democratic Primary Results (1972)
• Dolph Briscoe: 44 percent
• Sissy Farenthold: 28 percent
• Ben Barnes: 18 percent
• Pr...
1964:24th AmendmentOutlawstheCollectionofPoll
TaxesforFederal(SupremeCourtLaterAppliedthe
AmendmenttoAll Elections)
Supreme Court Rules FOR
“Single-Member Districts” (1963)
• Result of these changes:
• African American voter
registration ...
Barbara Jordan: First African American
Woman Elected to the US House (1972)
• As time passed,
more and more
African Americ...
Ann Richards, Governor
Ann Richards, Waco High
Graduate (1950)
Ann and Dave Richards
Sarah Weddington
• 1964: Enrolled in the
University of Texas School
of Law (one of only 5
women in a class of 120).
• 1967...
1972: Ann Richards Manages
Sarah Weddington’s Campaign
• Sarah Weddington
served three terms
in the Texas House
of Represe...
1976: Ann Richards Runs for
Travis County Commissioner
• First woman to serve in
that position
• Her political strategy is...
Texas Politics Before 1972
• Liberal Democrats:
• Labor Unions
• Minority Voters
• College Campuses/Students
• Highly Educ...
1990 Governor’s Race: Final
Results
• Ann Richards (D): 1,925,670 (49.47 percent)
• Clayton Williams (R): 1,826,431 (46.92...
1972 Electoral Map (17 EVs)
2012 Electoral Map (332 EVs)
Texas Governor’s Races Since
Bush/Richards (1994)
• 1998:
• Republican: 68 percent
• Democrat: 31 percent
• 2002:
• Republ...
Year of the Texas Woman
Year of the Texas Woman
Year of the Texas Woman
Year of the Texas Woman
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Year of the Texas Woman

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Year of the Texas Woman

  1. 1. Year of the Texas Woman? Sissy Farenthold, Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, and the 1972 Election in Texas Blake Ellis, Ph.D.
  2. 2. 40 Years Later: Wendy Davis
  3. 3. “Stand With Texas Women” Seemed to Come Out of Nowhere . . . But Did It?
  4. 4. Texas Politics in 1972: • In the 1950s and 1960s, Texas elections were usually dominated by three important groups: Conservative Democrats, Liberal Democrats, and Republicans. • Conservative Vote: Usually about 60 percent • Liberal Vote: Usually about 40 percent
  5. 5. 1972 Presidential Election: • In Texas, Conservative Richard Nixon defeats liberal George McGovern 66 percent to 33 percent.
  6. 6. Sissy Farenthold for Governor
  7. 7. Governor Preston Smith and Lieutenant Governor Ben Barnes • Preston Smith: Conservative Democrat, Elected Governor in 1968 and 1970. • Ben Barnes: Conservative Democrat, Youngest Speaker of the House in Texas history, Elected Lieutenant Governor in 1968 and 1970.
  8. 8. Sharpstown: Touched Many Texas Politicians
  9. 9. The “Dirty Thirty” • A group of thirty Texas legislators that kept the Sharpstown scandal in the headlines, pressuring Governor Preston Smith to investigate the issue and encouraging reform of Texas’s laws to prevent future scandals. • The group believed it should run a candidate in the 1972 governor’s race, and its members settled on Corpus Christi state representative Frances “Sissy” Farenthold.
  10. 10. 1972 Governor’s Race: “Establishment” Candidates • Governor Preston Smith (Conservative Democrat) • Lieutenant Governor Ben Barnes (Conservative Democrat) • State representative “Sissy” Farenthold (Liberal Democrat) • Former state representative Dolph Briscoe (Conservative Democrat)
  11. 11. Frances “Sissy” Farenthold • Rallied the “Yarborough Democrats,” appealing to liberals, labor unions, African Americans, Latinos, gays and lesbians, and young people.
  12. 12. Democratic Primary Results (1972) • Dolph Briscoe: 44 percent • Sissy Farenthold: 28 percent • Ben Barnes: 18 percent • Preston Smith: 9 percent • Runoff Election Results: • Dolph Briscoe: 54 percent • Sissy Farenthold: 46 percent • Dolph Briscoe defeated his Republican opponent in the fall to become governor of Texas.
  13. 13. 1964:24th AmendmentOutlawstheCollectionofPoll TaxesforFederal(SupremeCourtLaterAppliedthe AmendmenttoAll Elections)
  14. 14. Supreme Court Rules FOR “Single-Member Districts” (1963) • Result of these changes: • African American voter registration in Texas increases: • 1960: 227,000 • 1966: 400,000 Barbara Jordan (left) wins a seat in the Texas Senate in 1966.
  15. 15. Barbara Jordan: First African American Woman Elected to the US House (1972) • As time passed, more and more African American Texans won important seats, from the Texas House and Texas Senate to city council, mayor, and the US Congress.
  16. 16. Ann Richards, Governor
  17. 17. Ann Richards, Waco High Graduate (1950)
  18. 18. Ann and Dave Richards
  19. 19. Sarah Weddington • 1964: Enrolled in the University of Texas School of Law (one of only 5 women in a class of 120). • 1967: Faces an unplanned pregnancy the same year she graduated from law school • 1970: Files suit against Dallas County in the case that eventually becomes Roe vs. Wade
  20. 20. 1972: Ann Richards Manages Sarah Weddington’s Campaign • Sarah Weddington served three terms in the Texas House of Representatives. • She is pictured here with former law school classmate (one of the 5) and future US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.
  21. 21. 1976: Ann Richards Runs for Travis County Commissioner • First woman to serve in that position • Her political strategy is the same as the one she used to win Sarah Weddington’s race: • Turn out the UT vote • Turn out women • Turn out minorities
  22. 22. Texas Politics Before 1972 • Liberal Democrats: • Labor Unions • Minority Voters • College Campuses/Students • Highly Educated Professionals (Ideological Liberals) • Increasingly visible LGBT Community • Conservative Democrats: • Rural Voters • Suburban Voters • Almost Exclusively White
  23. 23. 1990 Governor’s Race: Final Results • Ann Richards (D): 1,925,670 (49.47 percent) • Clayton Williams (R): 1,826,431 (46.92 percent)
  24. 24. 1972 Electoral Map (17 EVs)
  25. 25. 2012 Electoral Map (332 EVs)
  26. 26. Texas Governor’s Races Since Bush/Richards (1994) • 1998: • Republican: 68 percent • Democrat: 31 percent • 2002: • Republican: 58 percent • Democrat: 40 percent • 2006: • Republican: 39 percent • Democrat: 30 percent • NOTE: Another Republican ran a third-party campaign, winning 18 percent of the vote. • 2010: • Republican: 55 percent • Democrat: 42 percent

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