Monday, April 28, HBO premiers a documentary about former Texas Governor Ann Richards at 8pm CDT.
The film tells the story of Dorothy Ann Willis’ upbringing in small town, rural Texas, her college years at Baylor, the move to Austin with husband Dave Richards, a political career that began in 1978 with a seat on the Travis County Commissioners Court and ended as the highest ranking Democrat in the very conservative state of Texas.
“I think the real message for Texans is the fact that my mother had a real vision for where she thought Texas needed to go,” Ellen Richards, the late governor’s youngest daughter, tells KTRH News. She describes her mother’s vision as a government run for and by the people, that looks like the people it represents, and should be there to serve the people of Texas.
Many prominent Democratic political figures are featured in interviews in the documentary, including former President Bill Clinton; Michael Dukakis; Ronald Kirk, former mayor of Dallas; and Henry Cisneros, former mayor of San Antonio. Several members of her former staff and family are also featured.
Ellen Richards says most people remember her mom for her witty one-liners and excellent oratory skills, but hopes through the film people will have a deeper understanding of how much her mother cared for Texas, the people of Texas, and making sure those people had the opportunity to live full and rich lives.
Richards lost her bid for reelection in 1994 when she was defeated by future President of the United States George W. Bush.
This year another Bush is running for office in Texas and another woman is running as a Democrat to be the state’s next governor.
“I would suggest that Wendy Davis watch this film and be inspired by it. Watch what my mother went through to become governor of Texas, what she withstood, be inspired to know that anything is possible, and that she has a great shot at being governor of Texas,” Ellen Richards says.
Ann Richards died of esophageal cancer in 2006 at the age of 73.
“All About Ann: Governor Richards of the Lone Star State” will be rebroadcast on subsequent Monday’s following tonight’s debut.