Texas Republican gubernatorial nominee Clayton Williams looked the wrong way when he looked to Mississippi Gov. Ray Mabus (D) for support.

Shortly after the Norwegian tanker Mega Borg exploded, burned and spilled oil off the Texas coast, Williams, who is running against Democrat Ann Richards, stood on the steps of Galveston's main post office to announce that he had written "all the governors of the Gulf states to seek support for a Gulf-states summit to discuss oil emergency preparedness."

Mabus was not impressed.

"I must tell you that I was disappointed at the timing of your response. Almost a year before the situation occurred, Ann Richards released her plans for dealing with oil spills," Mabus wrote Williams. "I appreciate your interest {but} it is a little late."

But, in the way of most political campaigns, the matter did not end there as each side tried to one-up the other on

just who is more environmentally concerned.

The Williams campaign, ignoring Mabus's letter, noted that Williams had taken time to visit the Mega Borg fire site.

"Ann apparently didn't think the oil tanker disaster was important enough for her to come out of hiding and go to the scene to try to understand the threat this disaster presents to our coastline," a Williams campaign spokeswoman said.