Mayor Parmer Fuels His Fort Worth Machine

Hugh asked for it, Hugh’s got it

Fifteen years ago, Hugh Partner became the youngest legislator in Texas at age 22. But in his first re-election bid, he was beaten by a conservative Fort Worth political machine. Parmer learned quickly and became a sophisticated mechanic himself. “The Par-mer Machine,” a tight organization employing textbook political theory and a direct mail system, has begun to establish an awesome power base in Fort Worth.

In his year as Mayor, Partner, once shunned by the establishment, has done well at making friends in high places in Cowtown, picking up “new establishment” supporters like Bill Davis (brother of Cullen) and KXAS-TV general manager Blake Byrne, who has given Parmer gen-erous exposure on Channel 5 for “public service” broadcasting projects.

It appears that now Parmer is close to putting together a strong political alliance. While Parmer denies the “machine” tag, he has definitely thrown his troops behind candidates on several fronts. He has backed Molly Lasater’s bid to become vice president of the Fort Worth Independent School Board. In state legislative races, Parmer has supported Reby Cary, Art Bren-der, Mrs. Woodie Woods, and State Rep. Chris Miller. To strengthen his position on the city council, Parmer is pumping up Ms. Deralyn Davis to oppose Mrs. Walter Barbour, the black council-woman who has been a bitter critic of the mayor. With all this lubrication, the Parmer machine may soon be running smoothly indeed.

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