Roger Staubach Bristles at Morning News Implying His Daughter is Living Out His Political Dreams

Roger Staubach (left) always wanted to be like Henry S. Miller Jr.

In the Sunday Dallas Morning News, Gromer Jeffers opined that the Dallas City Council campaign of Jennifer Staubach Gates is being aided by the famous name and wealthy friends of her father, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and commercial real estate bigwig Roger Staubach.

Staubach has long been expected to become a political candidate himself, though he never has, Jeffers wrote:

But the game’s not over. Staubach is handing off any dreams of public office to his daughter, Jennifer Staubach Gates.

When I interviewed Staubach this morning, Jeffers’ column was one of the first matters he brought up. He didn’t like the implication that his daughter is running for office in his stead and that he harbors political ambitions of his own.

“I didn’t really want her to be in politics,” Staubach said. “The reason I mention that is my dream was never, never even indicated, never even tried, never any contemplation of going into politics.”

Never? I reflexively asked.

“No, I started my own business. I was in the real estate business, so my dreams were to be like Mr. Miller,”  he said. He’s referring to Henry S. Miller Jr., of the Henry S. Miller Company, who took him under his wing back when Staubach was still playing pro football.

Of course, Staubach has been approached by others about running for office quite a few times. And he’s been happy to back candidates with his money and time. He even stumped for Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign in 1980. But he says he hasn’t let the prospect of his own candidacy get past “step one.” Except once.

When then-President-elect George W. Bush’s team contacted him in 2000 about being vetted to serve as Secretary of the Navy, he was willing to take the second step of meeting with them to discuss the position. Even then, he made it clear early on that he wasn’t interested in the job.

“I had a business to run,” he said.


  • Dubious Brother

    If Roger Staubach wanted to be in politics he would have been elected to any office he chose to run for a long time ago.
    I know nothing about his daughter but I’m willing to bet she is her own person and is wisely using the Staubach name in her campaign if not taking Dad’s advice about entering politics.

  • Bruce

    Jennifer and Leland debated at Withers school on Northaven last week. Dan Koller was the moderator and did a fine job keeping them to answering their questions. I initially thought she was riding on Roger’s name only, but she was very knowledgeable of all of the issues and came across as credible.

    • Dan Koller

      Thanks for the shout-out, Bruce.

    • Jack Jett

      I don’t know how this woman could make it more freaking obvious she is running on Daddy’s name. The Staubach name is in a HUGE BOLD FONT to make sure we get it.

    • Mike

      Seriously? What are her qualifications? Church board? Block captain? Really?

      I was also at the Withers debate and she was a mess, even apologizing at the end that she hadn’t done anything like that before.

  • Mary

    STAUBACH IS HER NAME TOO. She is legally Jennifer Staubach Gates. If you have attended any debates or met her or reviewed her resume on her website – you will have no doubt she is the best candidate in the race and has the experience needed. Don’t punish her for her name. If her father had been Roger Smith and not famous, I can promise you she’d be Jennifer Smith Gates. She is proud of her name because it is her heritage. And she is blessed because her dad is honest and hardworking so the name has integrity . Forget football, and focus on the issues and Jennifer. Just as noted above, Jeffers didn’t even right the truth in his article. Roger wasn’t passing off politics to his daughter. Meet Jennifer – go to an event – and then I think you will change your mind. She is her own person. And Staubach is her name just as well is Gates – the name of her husband she took when she married.

  • Preston Hollow Peep

    Mrs. Gates does have strengths and is a credible candidate, but at more than one candidate forum she has become quite combatitive when someone challenges her assumptions and she tries to shut down dialogue by talking over them loudly to the point of shouting. I used to be ambivalent about both these relative unknowns in District 13. They both have talking points about public safety and bring money back to the district to repair alleys and reducing government waste – all good fiscal conservative stuff. Leland Burk, though, seems like a cool head, a smart person who knows the issues, and someone who’s not going to bend over backwards to be part of the “8 votes” on the council. We could use some maturity and professionalism on the council now that Ann Margolin is stepping down.

  • Pete Moore

    She would have more integrity if she ran as Jennifer Gates.

  • Alec Baldwin

    I’m guessing she’ll win on the Staubach name alone. But she shouldn’t. Leland Burk is far more knowledgeable.

  • Bobtex

    If she was so proud of her maiden name, why did she not use it publicly from the time of her marriage to Mr. Gates until she decided to run for public office? Thanks to the magic of Google, you can go back in time and see quite clearly that the name “Staubach” generally does not appear on Internet postings about her until recently. Yes, she could run as Jennifer Gates, or Jennifer Smith Gates, but without the “Staubach” she has no political credibiity. Of course she is running on her father’s name. She has every right to, and she would be a fool if she did not do so. But calling her out on this tactic is legitimate as well, since it is quite accurate.

  • west b

    I saw them on Monday night at the Jewish Community Center, and she was far more knowledgeable on the issues and more passionate than Leland. She is very smart and would be a great representative for our district.

  • Mouse

    So what is wrong in running by her father ‘s name? Roger doesn’t have any boys to carry on his name and I know a lot of girls that go by their maiden name only and they are married . Jennifer goes by both and so does my niece good for you Jennifer , you turned out to be a beautiful woman compared to how I remember you in high school. Very proud of you. You went to school with my daughter