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Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Another of those wacky candidates! Cross dresser runs for Texas legislature.

From the Kansas City Star
Texas House candidate, onetime cross-dresser says he won't bow out

BY JAY ROOT Knight Ridder Newspapers

"I don't have a problem with cross-dressing," Giddens said. "There are lots of them. People think J. Edgar Hoover was one of the greatest Americans that ever lived. He was a cross-dresser."

AUSTIN, Texas - (KRT) - His family made a fortune on men's work clothing. But it's Sam Walls' apparent fondness for women's apparel that is dividing the Johnson County Republican Party.

Walls, 64, is in a runoff against Burleson, Texas, real estate broker Rob Orr to succeed conservative icon Arlene Wohlgemuth in the Texas Legislature. As a leading businessman, former Republican Party chairman and major hospital benefactor, Walls seemed the odds-on favorite to win the April 13 contest for House District 58.

But then pictures of Walls in women's clothing - several of which were provided to the "Fort Worth Star-Telegram" - began circulating late last week around Burleson and Cleburne, rival towns on opposite ends of the district.

That's when several Republicans, including the head of the Johnson County Republican Party, confronted Walls and urged him to withdraw.

But Walls dug in his heels.

After rebuffing Republicans who asked him to pull out Monday, he faxed a statement to the Star-Telegram saying he would not give in to "blackmail" from opponents who are trying to use "very old, personal information" to force him out.

"Through intermediaries, my opponent told me to drop out of the campaign or the private information would be released," Walls said. "Now my opponent is using the private information in an attempt to intimate that I am a homosexual, which I am not."

Walls said his family had "dealt with" the issue and he asked for forgiveness.

"I apologize for any embarrassment caused to supporters by my opponent's disclosure of a small part of my personal past," he said.

The conservative businessman, whose father founded the mens' clothing line now produced by Cleburne-based Walls Industries, is expected to address the controversy at a meeting of party executives at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Cleburne.

Endorsed by state Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville, and U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, Walls won't be without support at the meeting.

GOP Treasurer Roy Giddens, Jr., an elder statesman in the Johnson County Republican Party, met with Walls last week to discuss the photos and was assured there was nothing more than "cross-dressing" involved.

And as far as Giddens is concerned, wearing earrings, a wig and high-heel shoes does not preclude Walls from becoming an excellent state representative.

"I don't have a problem with cross-dressing," Giddens said. "There are lots of them. People think J. Edgar Hoover was one of the greatest Americans that ever lived. He was a cross-dresser."

believe it or not there's more...read more...


And the summary from Reuters via Yahoo:
DALLAS (Reuters) - What started as a dull runoff race to field a Republican candidate for a seat in the Texas House of Representatives has heated up due to a controversy over cross-dressing.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported on Tuesday photographs of candidate Sam Walls dressed in women's clothes have circulated among political leaders in Johnson County, south of Fort Worth. Local Republican leaders confirmed separately that they had seen the photographs of Walls in a wig, dress and high heels.

Walls, who has the endorsement of several leading Republicans in the state and was expected to win the run-off, was not available for comment. He said in comments printed in the Star-Telegram that he will not drop out of the race due to a campaign of blackmail.

"Through intermediaries, my opponent told me to drop out of the campaign or the private information would be released," Walls told the paper. "Now my opponent is using the information in an attempt to intimate that I am a homosexual, which I am not."

Walls, 64, who describes himself as a fervent Baptist, told the paper his family had "dealt with" the issue of his cross-dressing and that he asked for forgiveness.

The opponent in question is Rob Orr and his campaign officials said they have not distributed the photos.

Jeff Judd, the county chairman of the Republican party, said it was too late for Walls to drop out of the April 13 runoff.

"It would have been much better judgment for him not to have run," he said.

// posted by Ellen @  10:49   //Permalink// 
Ellen says hey
Mainer, New Yawka, Beijinger, Californian, points between. News, views and ballyhoos that piqued my interest and caused me to sigh, cry, chuckle, groan or throw something.


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