The speaker jinx
Mon January 5, 2009 8:46 am

Add Tom Craddick to the list of speakers whose careers ended for reasons other than their own choosing.

Byron Tunnel, 1963, had his sights set on a second term, but was forced out of office by Governor John Connally, who gave him the choice of a soft landing of a Railroad Commission appointment or defeat at the hands of Connally’s protege, Ben Barnes.

Ben Barnes, 1965-67, ran for lieutenant governor in 1968, served two terms, and ran for governor in 1972. He finished third in the Democratic primary when voters were in an anti-incumbent mood due to the Sharpstown scandal.

Gus Mutscher, 1969-1971, was convicted of conspiracy to accept a bribe from banker Frank Sharp and sentenced to five years’ probation.

Rayford Price, 1972, was elected to succeed Mutscher. He was defeated for reelection by Fred Head in the Democratic primary.

Price Daniel Jr., 1973, announced that he would serve for only one session. He ran for attorney general in 1978 and was defeated by Mark White. He was shot and killed by his wife.

Bill Clayton, 1975-1981, was accused by the FBI of accepting a bribe and stood trial on corruption charges in 1980. He was acquitted in a jury trial. Clayton explored a race for land commissioner in 1982 but received little encouragement and chose not to pursue elected office.

Gib Lewis, 1983-1991, pled guilty to charges that he had illegally accepted a gift from a San Antonio law firm and resigned his office as part of a plea bargain.

Pete Laney, 1993-2001, hoped to serve a sixth term but his chances ended when Republicans won their first majority in the House since Reconstruction in 2002.

Tom Craddick, 2003-2007, sought a fourth term but failed to receive sufficient support to be reelected.

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