Dan Patrick Isn't Alone; Here Are More Examples of Texas Political Mudslinging
Political fights can get ugly, but the grappling over who will get the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor got particularly unsightly last Friday. Up until then, both the remaining candidates, State Sen. Dan Patrick and current Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, had done their best to embarrass and undermine each other, but it all got down into the real dirty fighting on Friday when Jerry Patterson, current land commissioner, former candidate and an ally of Dewhurst, released Patrick's medical records showing that Patrick was twice admitted to a mental hospital to be treated for depression back in the 1980s. It was a nasty bit of work in an increasingly ugly race, but this kind of below-the-belt political antics has a history in Texas. Here are five standout examples of down-and-dirty political fighting in the Lone Star State. It's worth noting that sometimes these things don't go as planned:
ABCNews.com Even Ann Richards threw (and ducked) her share of mud.
5. Jim Mattox and Ann Richards. The 1990 governor's race was a free-for-all after Gov. Bill Clements announced he wasn't running for another term. Ann Richards had shot to national prominence two years before with her address at the Democratic National Convention, but she didn't have the Democratic nomination sewn up. Nope, she had to duke it out with Attorney Gen. Jim Mattox and former Gov. Mark White. Mattox alleged that Richards was a coke-snorting recovering alcoholic who was likely to snap and become a coke-snorting boozy head of the Lone Star State if elected governor. Maybe Mattox thought he was locking up the Democratic nomination when his campaign started tossing around these narrow-minded and incredibly backward-thinking allegations, but it actually had the opposite effect. None of the three contenders won the nomination on the first round, but the mudslinging actually drove voters away during the runoff between Mattox and helped Richards win the nomination. She then went on to become the legendary Gov. Ann Richards, defeating Republican opponent Clayton Williams by a slim margin. So that plan kind of backfired a bit.