Texas Democratic Party Chairman Robert Slagle, one of the most respected Southern Democratic officials, on Wednesday endorsed the presidential candidacy of Tennessee Sen. Albert Gore Jr.
Slagle said he believed that Gore was a winner for the Democratic Party, someone who could carry the South in the general election.
The endorsement is a substantial boost for Gore, whose strategy is based on making a strong showing in the March 8 Super Tuesday primaries. Texas is the largest of the 16 states holding a primary on Super Tuesday.
In another development in Texas, a source close to the influential Southwest Texas Judges Assn. said Wednesday that the group would endorse Illinois Sen. Paul Simon's presidential candidacy in January.
The group, which is made up entirely of Latino county judges, is a major boost for Simon in an area that is suffering widespread unemployment and is receptive to his idea for a jobs program.