Craig Washington

“I’m a proud member of the Texas Farm Bureau,” says Craig Washington, the former Democratic state representative, state senator, and U.S. congressman from Houston. The 59-year-old now spends much of his time on his farm near Bastrop, where he has lived since he left Congress in January 1995. “On the first Christmas card I sent from here, I was standing next to my tractor, holding a pitchfork and wearing a straw hat,” he says, chuckling. “All my friends asked me where I borrowed the stuff.” Though he grows a few crops and raises some livestock—“They all have names, so I can’t take them to the slaughterhouse”—Washington maintains law offices in Bastrop and Houston, where he has the luxury to pick and choose his cases. “I’m not semi-retired,” he says, “I’m just taking it easy.” He steers clear of politics now, but the man who was close friends with Mickey Leland (and won Leland’s seat in Congress after he died in a plane crash in 1989) has fond memories of his political career. “I loved it when I did it, but there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell that I’d ever run again,” he says. “It’d be like putting my hand back in the meat grinder.”

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