Friday, November 21, 2008

Jim Mattox, 1943-2008

Former Texas Attorney General Jim Mattox, known as the junkyard dog of Texas politics who also served in Congress and battled Ann Richards in a vicious primary campaign for governor, has died. He was 65.

Mattox, a bare-knuckled political brawler while the state was still fiercely Democratic, died at his Dripping Springs home, his sister, Janice Mattox, said Thursday. She did not know the cause of death.

(Above: Jim Mattox with David Van Os, at the 2006 Texas Democratic Party convention.)

Mattox was remembered for his advocacy of the everyday Texan, a reputation that earned him the nickname the "people's lawyer."

Chuck McDonald, a spokesman for Richards during the infamous 1990 Democratic primary, portrayed Mattox as a populist who knew how to fight.

"Jim was the original maverick. He prided himself on being the voice of the little guy and took on every big money interest group he could find," McDonald said. "As a political rival, he was as tough as they came. He never backed down from a fight and he made all the candidates stronger."

Vince wrote the definitive eulogy.

Here's Mattox speaking at Hillary Clinton's HQ in Austin:

Here's the text of a conversation overheard in Denver at the DNC between Mattox and the late Fred Baron, from August of this year (just weeks before Baron himself passed away).

And Rick Dunham has a fine slideshow of some historical photos of Mattox.

Update: Former Attorney General Jim Mattox will lie in state in the Texas House chamber, Monday, November 24th from 10 AM 3PM to 7 PM. The family will be present from 5-7.

Funeral services will be held at 11 AM, Tuesday, November 25th at the First Baptist Church, 901 Trinity Street in downtown Austin. Burial will follow at the Texas State Cemetery.

No comments: