The swirling force of Texas politics

Remembering Gov. Bill Clements

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    Former Texas Gov. Bill Clements died in Dallas on Sunday after a long illness.

    Friends and supporters of former Texas Gov. Bill Clements gathered Thursday in Dallas to pay their respects to the state's first Republican governor since Reconstruction.

    Clements died in Dallas on Sunday after a long illness.

    Former Gov. Bill Clements Dead at 94

    [DFW] Former Gov. Bill Clements Dead at 94
    Former Gov. Bill Clements, first Republican governor since Reconstruction, has died at 94 in a Dallas hospital.

    Gov. Rick Perry, Texas' two U.S. senators and other current Republican-elected officials attended the memorial service at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church following a private burial in Dallas.

    "He gave Texas a two-party system," said U.S. Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas.

    "He was tough," Cornyn said. "He was no-nonsense. He was all business, and some people loved that about him. Others found it a little incongruous in a politician."

    Oil businessman Clements was first elected in 1978. He lost his first re-election bid but won a second term in 1986.

    U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, said Clements helped her bid for Texas treasurer years ago when nobody else thought she could win.

    "He was one of a kind," she said. "Everyone knows he broke the mold, broke the mold for Republicans in Texas. And he was a straight shooter."

    Today, Republicans hold every statewide office in Texas.

    As a trustee at Southern Methodist University in the 1980s, Clements was connected to the school's pay-for-play football scandal.

    But the businessman is also remembered as a big supporter of SMU over the years and as a major donor to Texas charities.