My dad helped Congressman Jim Wright in some of his early elections, so I got to know him when I was a child. Later, when I applied to be his page, he agreed. My dad said, “But Bill’s a Republican”; Jim was kind enough to say it didn’t matter. Still, I didn’t plan to go into politics. I hate to say it, but the reason I decided to attend the LBJ School was financial. I had been accepted at the UT law school, but I already had a lot of debt from putting myself through Stephen F. Austin State University. The LBJ School offered me a scholarship, all expenses, plus a $250-a-month stipend. It taught me a lot, but in some respects it was just a little bit too traditional. And it was heavily Democrat. There was just one Republican professor, and I believe there were only two of us who were Republicans in the entire school.

Colorado governor Bill Owens was born and raised in Fort Worth, and in 1975 he graduated from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. The first Republican governor in Colorado in nearly three decades, he was sworn into office last year.