Major LaRouche Candidates Fail in Texas Primary With AM-Texas Elections
DALLAS (AP) _ Major candidates backed by extremist Lyndon LaRouche failed to win any races in Texas’ primaries, but the group’s chief state spokesman said he was pretty pleased with the results.
Texas’ elections Saturday were the first since the Illinois primary in which LaRouche followers won the Democratic nominations for lieutenant governor and secretary of state.
National Democratic Party officials had said they would be watching Texas closely for gains by followers of the three-time presidential candidate and former communist who believes the British monarchy is behind a drug-smuggling ring and that Henry Kissinger promotes genocide in Africa.
But the nine Democrats and one Republican competing for congressional nominations were soundly drubbed, and the only LaRouche candidate for statewide office was trounced 4-to-1 by state Agriculture Commissioner Jim Hightower, a Democratic again seeking the post.
Two LaRouche candidates were unopposed in the Democratic congressional primary, but the Houston-area seats are held by strong Republicans.
Most local races, where almost 200 LaRouche candidates sought precinct chairmanships and similar posts, were not decided by early Sunday.
A LaRouche candidate did make it into a runoff for the Bexar County Democratic Party chairmanship, despite an endorsement of his opponent by San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros.
Harley Schlanger, southwest coordinator for the LaRouche organization and one of the group’s congressional candidates, said Saturday night, ″I’m pretty pleased overall.″
″You have to look at the fact that in spite of the vicious, malicious, lying slander (against LaRouche candidates) ... we’re still getting 15 to 30 percent (in most races),″ he said.
Schlanger said LaRouche supporters were also affected by opposition from the state Democratic Party, which mailed out 18,000 lists of all LaRouche candidates and other election information.
In San Antonio, LaRouche supporter Donald Varella led four opponents in the race for Bexar County Democratic chairman and will face Jane Hibler, said outgoing party chairman Marilyn Jones.
″I’m terribly concerned. It would be a total disaster,″ she said.
Ms. Jones said Varella won because he was the only candidate with a Hispanic name in the heavily Hispanic county. Schlanger disagreed.
In Dallas County, a write-in campaign defeated at least seven LaRouche candidates who were unopposed for precinct chairmanships in 11 races, said Democratic Party spokeswoman Celeste Guerrero.
In precincts that were contested, she said it appeared the LaRouche candidates were defeated. They had sought 32 chairmanships out of 455 Democratic precincts, she said.
Precinct chairmen serve as election judges and work to get out the vote in their neighborhoods. They also have a vote on the policy-setting county executive committee. County party chairmen are in charge of planning party primaries.