If "Andrew White" sounds familiar, he's the son of the late former Texas Gov. Mark White. And in December, Andrew announced he is running for dad's old job.

Andrew White, 45, a Houston businessman, has never run for office before. But it was after his dad, 77, died in August, that he first considered running.

People told him at his dad's funeral about his work 30 years ago -- raising teacher salaries, no-pass, no-play, a seatbelt law, and other efforts that made a difference in people's lives. Andrew wanted to re-kindle that type of positive, can-do government.

Announcing Dec. 7 in Houston, Andrew also lamented the long drought for Texas Democrats statewide.

“My fellow Democrats, I know you’re tired of losing,” White told more than 100 people. “I am, too. If winning in November is important to you, then I’m your candidate.”

The late Ann Richards was the last Democrat elected governor, in 1990. But she was unseated in 1994 by Republican George W. Bush.

The White name was a ballot mainstay from 1950 through 1990. John C. White was elected Agriculture Commissioner in 1950, and repeatedly re-elected until becoming President Jimmy Carter's Deputy Secretary of Agriculture in 1977.

Then, Mark White was on the ballot in 1978 for attorney general, and for governor in 1982, 1986, and 1990 – winning the first two, and losing the last two.

Still, Mark White was the next-to-last Democratic governor. He unseated Republican Gov. Bill Clements in 1982. But Clements returned the favor in 1986.

White tried a comeback in 1990, but finished third in the Democratic primary, to Richards and then-Atty. Gen. Jim Mattox.

The White name took a ballot breather until 2010, when former Houston Mayor Bill White (no relation) won the Democratic nomination for governor. He lost to then-incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Perry by 12.6 percent.

At Andrew White's announcement, introducers included longtime Houston State Rep. Garnet Coleman an African-American sponsor of dozens of legislative measures concerning health care, education, and other issues important to people.

Coleman, considered a progressive, said Andrew White was the kind of moderate Democrat who could actually beat Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in November.

"We don't want people to believe that the Democratic Party is against the white males – and we're not," Coleman told a reporter.

White got some flak from outspoken pro-choice advocates. Although he is personally against abortion, he said that does not make him "anti-choice," and he knows the law allows women to choose to have an abortion.

"We must all work to keep it safe and make it rare," White said, indicating "I would veto" all of the recent legislative bills trying to making abortions harder to obtain.

"These bills do the opposite of protecting life," and have led to higher rates of maternal morality and unplanned pregnancy, White said.

Incumbent Abbott, with well over $40 million in campaign cash, faces just two opponents in the GOP primary – Barbara Krueger and SECEDE Kilgore.

White faces nine vying for the Democratic nomination: Adrian Ocegueda, Cedric Davis, Sr., Demetria Smith, Grady Yarbrough, James Jolly Clark, Jeffrey Payne, Joe Mumbach, Lupe Valdez, and Tom Wakely.

If you're from the Dallas area, Lupe Valdez's name may sound familiar. She just retired as Dallas County Sheriff after ten years to run for governor, and some consider her the favorite.

And if Grady Yarbrough's name sounds familiar, it should.

There have been a string of Yarboroughs, and Yarbroughs, on Texas ballots over the years – including especially populist 13-year U.S. Sen. Ralph W. Yarborough. With asterisks for races he won, he ran for:

• Attorney general – 1938.

• Governor – 1952, 1954, 1956.

• U.S. Senate – 1957*, 1958*, 1964*, 1970, 1972.

Labor lawyer Don Yarborough got in Democratic runoffs for governor in 1962, 1964 and 1968, but lost them all.

Another Don Yarbrough won a Texas Supreme Court seat in 1976, but resigned in 1977 while facing impeachment.

For Grady Yarbrough, now in his 80s, this is his sixth statewide race in 32 years -- for five different offices, in both major political parties.

In 1986 and 1990, Yarbrough got into  runoffs for the Republican nomination for Land Commissioner. He lost both of those.

In 1994, Grady Yarbrough ran for the Democratic nomination for state treasurer, but lost. Then in 2012, he ran for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate, but lost in a runoff to former U.S. Rep. Paul Sadler.

Finally in 2016, Grady Yarbrough won the Democratic nomination for a vacant Railroad Commission seat. He lost the general election to Republican former state Rep. Wayne Christian in November.

So, folks, stay tuned for the White/Valdez/Yarbrough/Etc. faceoff in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, and Abbott against Kilgore and Krueger. That election is March 6, and early voting starts Feb. 20.

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