richards_1933.jpg
As only the second female Texan to become governor of the state (Miriam “Ma” Ferguson was the first – and twice elected), Ann Richards for many of her admirers is the quintessential Texas gal – funny, salty, tough and long-lasting. She came to politics late but bloomed brilliantly, winning election as state treasurer in 1982 and in 1990 defeating Republican Clayton Williams for the governorship. Richards had won national attention in 1988 at the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta when she said George Bush was “born with a silver foot in his mouth.” As governor, Richards appointed women, African-Americans and Hispanics to state commissions and agencies. Seeking re-election in 1994, however, she ran afoul of President Bush’s son, George W. Bush, who defeated her in the general election.