The essays in this book deal only with the chief executives of Texas who are no longer living, but a brief reference to the five surviving governors -- Preston Smith, Dolph Briscoe, William Clements, Mark White, and Ann Richards -- is appropriate.
John Connally's successor, Preston Smith ( 1969-1973) of Lubbock, was much less dynamic and much more conservative than Connally. Thought by some to lack intelligence because he was such a poor speaker, he was, in fact, a cagey player in the political game and successfully maneuvered himself into position for election. During his tenure, conservative business interests controlled the state. With Gus Mutscher serving as speaker of the House and Ben Barnes ruling the Senate, little change or progress occurred except for the adoption of a state minimum wage. Smith's second term was marred by the so-called Sharpstown Affair, a stock scandal that destroyed Mutscher's career.