Nation: Big John's Ten-Gallon Candidacy

He is turning on the Republican rank and file

Republican Party pros scoffed when Big John Connally, 62, announced that he was running for President. "A slick Lyndon Johnson," sneered one, "A wheeler-dealer in a sharkskin suit," gibed another. Now, only two months later, the jeering has stopped. Concedes Nevada Senator Paul Laxalt, campaign chairman for Front Runner Ronald Reagan: "Connally is coming on like gangbusters."

The former Texas Governor has got off to such a fast start that he has become Reagan's principal rival for the nomination in a race that most political...

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