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Texas Congressman Won't Seek 8th Term : Politics: Ronald D. Coleman is 11th Democrat this year who has decided not to run again. He had been enmeshed in slum developer controversy.

November 05, 1995| From Associated Press

EL PASO — Rep. Ronald D. Coleman said Saturday he will not seek an eighth term in Congress, becoming the 11th Democrat and third Texan to announce plans to leave Congress since the Republicans took control in January.

At a gathering of family and friends at a restaurant, Coleman accused the Republican-dominated Congress of declaring war "on working families, seniors, the disabled, veterans and children."

Coleman said he took pride in the federal spending he brought to the El Paso area, citing a number of multimillion-dollar programs he supported for the region.

In a prepared statement, Coleman also cited his "achievements to expose and end the evils of colonias " as his proudest accomplishment. But his political and financial links to the very developers of the colonias, or border slums, have placed his dealings under intense scrutiny.

Last month, state Atty. Gen. Dan Morales charged that Democratic leaders promised political retribution if he proceeded with a lawsuit against an El Paso colonia developer who is also a state Democratic leader.

On CBS-TV's "60 Minutes," Morales claimed that Democratic officials warned him that if he did not back off from his lawsuit, they would recruit a Democrat to challenge him in his 1994 reelection campaign.

Although Morales did not name Coleman or any other Democrats, subsequent reports said he was referring to Coleman as the source of the threats. Coleman has denied making any such threats against fellow Democrat Morales.

Coleman has maintained that he has never received any benefits from colonia developers. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry G. Cisneros said in a recent interview that the Clinton Administration would stand behind the Democratic firebrand.

Nonetheless, Coleman was expected to face a stiff challenge in next spring's primary in his solidly Democratic district.

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