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Bill Clements

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Bill Clements

William Perry "Bill" Clements, Jr. (born April 17, 1917) served two nonconsecutive terms as governor of Texas, most recently serving as the immediate predecessor to Ann Richards.

Born in Dallas, Texas, Clements worked as an oil driller for many years, eventually founding SEDCO, the world's largest offshore drilling company. Clements entered politics as the Deputy United States Secretary of Defense under Presidents Nixon and Ford.

In 1979, Clements defeated incumbent Democrat Dolph Briscoe to become governor of Texas. Clements was elected as the first Republican governor of the state since Reconstruction following the American civil war. Clements ran for reelection in 1982, but was defeated by Mark White because of sagging economic numbers.

Clements then served as chairman of the board of governors of Southern Methodist University before opting to run for governor again in 1986, where he was victorious again. Clements finished his term, opted not to run for governor again and was succeeded by Democrat Ann Richards in 1991.

During his tenure, Clements worked to reduce crime, improve education and the state's economy and worked to improve local relations with Mexico, especially on issues important to their mutual borders, like immigration and the drug war.


Preceded by:
Dolph Briscoe
Governor of Texas
1979-1983
Succeeded by:
Mark White
Preceded by:
Mark White
Governor of Texas
1987-1991
Succeeded by:
Ann Richards

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