Bush defeated Richards* in the 1994 Texas gubernatorial race, a victory which seemed to surprise even him; in the aftermath she praised his ability to stay on message, which was even then very much the trademark of Bush's favoured
Having lost a governor in Texas, the Democratic Party gained a charismatic and popular speaker. Throughout the mid- to late-90s Ann Richards could always be counted on to stump for progressive candidates. Her interest in and advocacy on behalf of education reform, substance abuse, and the arts earned her kudos across the board, as did her work on behalf of social issues like gay rights.
Born on this day in 1933 Ann Richards died in September 2006, following a brief battle with esophageal cancer; she was 73.
*Actually the second female governor in the history of Texas, after Miriam 'Ma' Ferguson.
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