Is Greg (“Cough-cough”) Abbott the worst governor of Texas ever? His list of blame-dodging, U-turns and general incompetence is long, but the competition is pretty tough. We’ve had ranchers, lawyers, a former prisoner of war, Rebels and Unionists and, worst of all, journalists: Gov. Will Hobby was editor of The Houston Post. Ross Sterling, owned that same paper. Both Price Daniel and Oscar Branch Colquitt were newspaper publishers. Colquitt was considered a reformer when, after his election in 1910, he abolished use of bullwhips in Texas prisons. W. Lee O’Daniel was the only governor who could not vote for himself, having refused to pay the required poll tax.
Dolph Briscoe Jr. was the largest individual land owner in Texas. Bill Clements was so wealthy he paid to have the Governor’s Mansion redone. Jim Hogg was so poor when he left office he had to borrow money to move. Later, he invested in oil and became enormously wealthy. John Connally was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald but survived. Beauford Jester died in a Pullman as the train came into Houston. George W. Bush was the only Texas governor to become a U.S. president, but Sam Houston was elected president (of Texas) before he was elected governor.