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The Ron and Joanna Clark Collection - George W. Bush Endorsement for Ron Clark (1996)

Joanna Clark

Sound | 1996

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  •  Texas Governor George W. Bush endorses Representative Ron Clark. After Bush became president, he appointed Clark as a judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. 
  •  Clark walks around the Capitol grounds with a constituent 
 
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This VHS footage captures former Texas Governor George W. Bush endorsing Ron Clark for state representative. Bush describes Clark’s focus on lawsuit reform, small businesses, and strict term limits. The television advertisement was paid for by the Texas for Lawsuit Reform PAC.
Ronald “Ron” Clark was born on January 5, 1953, in Caripito, Venezuela. He attended the University of Connecticut before joining the US Army in 1974, serving two years. Clark then moved to Texas to pursue a law degree. After graduating from the University of Texas School of Law in 1979, he became an assistant city attorney in the City Attorney’s Office of Abilene. Three years later, Clark went into private practice and settled in Sherman. 
 
Clark began a political career in 1996 with a campaign for State Representative from the 62nd District. He won, eventually serving three terms in the Texas House of Representatives. Clark was reelected for a fourth term, but was never sworn in. In January 2002, President George W. Bush nominated him for a seat on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The United States Senate confirmed his lifetime appointment in October 2002. Clark became chief judge of the court in January 2015. 
George W. Bush is the 43rd President of the United States and the 46th Governor of Texas. 
 
Bush was born on July 6, 1946, in New Haven, Connecticut, to Barbara Pierce and George H.W. Bush, who later became the 41st President of the United States. He had five siblings -- Jeb, Neil, Marvin, Dorothy, and Robin, who died at an early age. They grew up in Midland, Texas, before moving to Houston when George was in middle school. He attended Yale University and then, in 1968, he began a two-year active duty service with the Texas Air National Guard. Bush then served with the Alabama National Guard before receiving honorable discharge in 1974. He graduated from the Harvard Business School and moved back to Midland to work in the oil industry. There he met Laura Welch, a teacher and librarian. They married in 1977 and have twin daughters, Jenna and Barbara. 
 
Bush’s first attempt at holding political office was in 1978, when he lost a bid for the U.S. House of Representatives in Texas’s 19th Congressional District. He went back to the oil industry in Texas in the 1980s, but then moved to Washington to help his father run his presidential campaign. In between his father’s first and second presidential campaigns, Bush returned to Texas and purchased a share of the Texas Rangers baseball franchise. 
 
In 1994, Bush pursued the office of Governor of Texas against Democratic incumbent Ann Richards, and he won with 55 percent of the votes. While in office, Bush pushed tax cuts, education, and renewable energy. He was popular and easily won reelection in 1998. Amid much speculation, Bush announced that he would seek the Republican nomination for the 2000 presidential election. He won the primary against John McCain and chose Dick Cheney as his running mate. They ran his campaign on conservative values and his record as Governor of Texas, but the campaign became notorious for the Florida recount and the ensuing lawsuit, Bush v. Gore.  Bush ultimately won the election with the greater number of electoral votes even though Democratic nominee Al Gore received more popular votes. 
 
Bush’s domestic agenda for his first term was drastically altered after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, which led to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He created the Department of Homeland Security and aimed to thwart future terrorist threats, while also hoping to pass tax cuts and improve public education. Senator John Kerry challenged Bush in the 2004 election, but Bush ultimately won. Early in his second term, the federal government was met with harsh public criticism for its inadequate response to the devastation from Hurricane Katrina. The continued War on Terror and the economic recession in 2008 greatly diminished Bush’s reputation.  Bush returned to Texas after leaving office, splitting his time between Dallas and his ranch in Crawford and making occasional public appearances.