TEXAS: The Man with Nine Terms

On a hot summer day in 1920, Oscar Holcombe was cooling off at a soda fountain in Houston's old Scanlan Building. He ridiculed the idea that he should run for mayor. He explained to a friend that he was happy and prosperous as a building contractor. But he ran anyway, defeated the city attorney, the vice president of the Houston Post and a county commissioner who was considered the shoo-in candidate. He did it by "shaking hands with everybody in town . . . up one side of the street and down the other."

Last week, 28 years and eight terms...

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