Texas Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby, the Democrats' leading candidate for governor in 1990, announced last week that he will not run. Hobby was a leader of the effort to push through a $5.7 billion tax increase, the largest passed by any state. Hobby's refusal to let the legislature make up the falling oil revenues by cutting social programs and education funding led Republicans to tag him a big spender.
San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros said he will consider the race now that Hobby, whom he supported, is out. Other Democrats now mentioned include state treasurer Ann Richards, state land commissioner Garry Mauro and even former governor Mark White. Jim Mattox, the attorney general, is an all-but-announced candidate.
The popular agriculture commissioner, Jim Hightower, says he is more inclined to seek the Democratic Senate nomination in 1990, which would pit him against Phil Gramm (R).
On the Republican side, Gov. Bill Clements has said he will not seek reelection, so former congressman Kent Hance, defeated by Clements in the 1986 gubernatorial primary, may try again.
Of his decision not to run for any office after his term expires, Hobby said, "I just think I can be more effective during the next three years if I'm not perceived as someone with political ambitions or partisan motivations." Hobby, who prefers policy to politics, added, "I don't like putting myself forward, projecting myself. The realities of running a campaign in a state as large as Texas is it's always campaign time."