Prints and Photographs Collection
Beauford H. Jester
Jester's inauguration, January 21, 1947.
In 1946, Jester ran a middle-of-the-road campaign for governor. His opponent for the Democratic nomination was Homer Price Rainey, former president of the University of Texas. Rainey had participated in a spectacular fight for control of the university with the Board of Regents. Governors O'Daniel and Stevenson had packed the board with conservatives who ordered Rainey to fire professors who espoused liberal views and to repress literature of which they disapproved, such as John Dos Passos's USA trilogy. The regents fired Rainey on November 1, 1944. Eight thousand students marched in protest from the campus to the Capitol and Governor's Mansion, and leading educational organizations reprimanded the university for suppression of academic freedom.
Rainey ran for governor in 1946. Although he was beaten badly by Jester, his candidacy was the first in Texas to be supported by a coalition of labor, minorities, and independents, a combination that would prove significant in urban politics in the decades to come.