The eightieth session began with a Speaker’s race, ended with a Speaker’s race, and was consumed in between by the usual mix of nuanced issues and nasty politics. Along the way, a handful of lawmakers put the common good ahead of all else. And a handful of lawmakers didn’t.
Rodney Ellis was excellent. Gary Elkins was well, significantly less so. Bill Ratliff was a model of dignified leadership. Domingo Garcia was a one-man leper colony. Our biennial roundup of the Legislature's leading lights and dim bulbs.
It was a new era at the Capitol, with a new Speaker and a new mood of peace, love, and bipartisanship in the war-torn House. But the eighty-first legislative session turned out to be a lot like the eighty that came before it—some heroes, some villains, and enough hot air to last until 2011.
Ron Kirk may be this year’s most jovial political candidate, but his bid for the U.S. Senate is as much about race as personality. He knows it. His fellow Democrats know it. And you’d better believe the Republicans know it.
August 1, 2002 | by Patricia Hart -- DUPE | Feature