New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 19, 1985, New Braunfels, Texas
Making big strides
Loeffler gains even more GOP support
New Braunfels Herald Zeitung
Friday, July 19,1985
AUSTIN (AP) — Republican Tom Loeffler has fired another public relations salvo at possible GOP gubernatorial opponent Kent Hance, announcing that 24 Republican legislators are backing Loeffler.
The endorsements came a day after three GOP congressmen released a letter supporting Loeffler, R-Hunt, who on Monday reported having raised $1.1 million for a gubernatorial race.
Loeffler said the legislators’ joining his exploratory committee demonstrates the grassroots strength of his support in the state.
"These legislators know first-hand that Texas needs a governor with a commitment to excellence and political integrity. I am particularly gratified that these Republican leaders, who know what kind of leadership is needed from a governor, have faith in me,” he said.
The 24 Texas House and Senate members hail from all parts of the state, Ix>effler aides noted.
Richard McBride, director of Loeffler’s exploratory committee, said the lawmakers would help organize 1/oeffler's campaign.
"These state legislators know more than anyone the importance of defeating (incumbent Democrat) Mark White, and they know Tom Ixieffler is the one candidate
who can,” McBride said in a statement.
John Weaver, a spokesman for Loeffler’s campaign, said the lawmakers had promised organizational help in their home districts.
‘‘They can give a lot of leadership and guidance to the campaign, particularly with their knowledge of state government,” Weaver said.
On Tuesday, Reps. Bill Archer of Houston, Jack Fields of Humble and Tom DeLay of Sugar Land backed Loeffler, squaring off against Sen. Phil Gramm, who has said he expects to support Hance, who bolted from the Democratic Party earlier this year.
House members endorsing him were: Bill Blanton of Farmers Branch; Bill Ceverha of Dallas, Anne Cooper of San Marcos, Tom Craddick of Midland, Gerald Geist-weidt of Mason, Kelly Godwin of Odessa, Jack Harris of Pearland, Talmadge Heflin of Houston, Paul Hilbert of Spring, Arves Jones of El Paso, Ed Kuempel of Seguin, Jan McKenna of Arlington, Kae Patrick of San Antonio, George Pierce of San Antonio, Alan Schoolcraft of San Antonio, Gwyn Shea of Irving, Ashley Smith of Houston, Chip Staniswallis of Amarillo, Jim Tallas of Sugar Land, M.A. Taylor of Waco, Keith Valigura of Conroe, and John Willy of Angleton.
Texas Congressmen decide to go for Tom
WASHINGTON (AP) — Houston Rep. Jack Fields says a split in the Texas GOP over a potential Hance-Loeffler rivalry for the gubernatorial nomination represents a ‘‘quantum leap” of progress for the party.
‘‘I think it’s exciting that we potentially could have a highly contested Republican primary for governor,” Fields said Thursday.
‘‘I think we’re about the make the major quantum leap politically that people will vote in Republican primaries instead of Democratic primaries,” he said.
The potential “highly contested” primary race would be between Kent Hance, a former Lubbock congressman who narrowly lost the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate last year, then switched to the GOP this year, and four-term Republican Congressman Tom Loeffler of Hunt.
Neither man has officially announced his candidacy.
Phil Gramm won the Senate race as a Republican after switching parties during his House tenure the year before. Gramm launched his former House colleague Hance into the GOP at a news conference in May amid speculation Hance had been recruited by Gramm with promises of support of a Hance candidacy for governor.
Gramm “would feel some obligation to help him
(Hance) out” if he runs against incumbent Democrat Mark White next year, said Gramm’s press secretary, Larry Neal.
But Fields and fellow House Republicans Bill Archer of Houston and Tom DeLay of Sugar Land have signed a fund-raising letter for Loeffler.
“I have great respect for the senator,” said Fields.
“I think there is an understanding that I am not always going to agree with the senator, he is not always going to agree with me, but you know, I feel the same respect from him on this decision,” he said.
Neal said Gramm made a “gut-wrenching” decision to back Hance and acknowledges he is “one of the few around who has made that decision.”
For the Texas Republican Party, which is more accustomed to searching for standard-bearers than squabbling over who will carry the banner, the choices represent a coming-of-age, said Fields.
“My actions should not be construed as anti-Kent Hance, but pro Tommy Loeffler,” he said. “I’m glad Kent has switched over and if he is in the gubernatorial race, I'm glad that it’s going to be a contested primary. I think it brings excitement.”
State accountant charged with theft
AUSTIN (AP) A $41.400-a-year state accountant who had worked for the Comptroller's Office for 23 years has been charged with stealing a state check for $247,000
A district attorney’s office investigator said in an affidavit that James R Fontaine. 43, of Cedar Park falsified and stole the check earlier this month because of his "frustration with the management of
the Comptroller’s Office and so that he would be king of the mountain with $247,000 in his pocket.”’
William Krumpack of the Travis County District Attorney’s Office filed the affidavit when the theft charge was filed Thursday with Justice of the Peace David Cain.
According to the Krumpack affidavit, Fontaine arranged for a $247,000 state payment voucher to be
made out to another Cedar Park man, who told the investigator he was owed no money by the state.
The money was purportedly for a right-of-way purchase and came out of the State Highway Department budget. Officials of that agency notified the Comptroller’s Office that the voucher number was out of sequence and that it was prepared as a direct mail voucher.
The department does not use direct mail vouchers.
On July 8, Fontaine went to the Comptroller’s Office mail room and took the check, according to Krumpack, who said Fontaine kept the check until July 15 when he gave it to a Comptroller’s Office division director.
No bond had been set and Fontaine had not been arrested by late Thursday night.
Former security guard charged in bank robbery, slayings
PORT ARTHUR AP) - A former bank securitv guard has been charged with capital murder in the slayings of two savings and loan employees during a robbery earlier this week. authorities said David Let Holland, 50. of
Nederland, was charged Thursday with two counts of capital murder and was ordered held without bond. The charges stem from Tuesday's robbery of the Jefferson Savings & I Alan Association in Port Arthur and the slaying of two employees. Justice
of the Peace John Borne said.
A surveillance camera videotape from the bank showed a “calm and calculating” man chatting with one employee before the slayings, said police Sgt. K.J. Landry.
Holland, an unemployed father of
four, had worked as a security guard at the savings and loan's main office in Beaumont about eight years ago, Landry said.
Investigators said the tape showed the gunman entered the savings and loan Tuesday morning.
SA official may file for Loeffler's seat
A Bexar County Commissioner is expected to announce next week his candidacy for the 21st District Congressional seat.
Lamar Smith, precinct 3 Commissioner, resigned Thursday to run for the seat to be left vacant by incumbent Tom Loeffler.
“Tom Loeffler, the incumbent congressman, has publicly announced he will not seek re-election,” Smith said. "His decision has opened up the opportunity for me to run for Congress in this district.”
Smith has served as County Commissioner for the past three years, representing about 300,000
constituents in northern Bexar
As Commissioner, Smith says, he fought against unnecessary spending and taxes He wrote the first Code of Ethics adopted by the Commissioners Court, developed new county parks, and pushed for highway improvements.
Smith also initiated consolidation of county and city services to reduce dupliction and save taxpayers’ dollars.
"Serving on Commissioners Court,” Smith said, "has allowed me to see first-hand how much the federal government affects decisions made at the local level.”
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