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Eldon Beau Boulter (born February 23, 1942) is a Washington, D.C.marker-based lobbyist who was a Republican congressman from Texasmarker between 1985 and 1989. In 1984 he upset incumbent Democratic congressman Jack Hightower. Boulter was thus one of six freshmen Republican congressmen elected from Texas in 1984 known as the Texas Six Pack. He represented the sprawling district that stretches from Amarillomarker to Wichita Fallsmarker and embraces the Texas Panhandlemarker. In 1988, after two terms, he gave up the House seat to challenge unsuccessfully the reelection of Democratic Senator Lloyd M. Bentsen, Jr., (1921-2006).

Boulter was born in El Paso, Texasmarker. He graduated from Levelland High School in Levellandmarker, the seat of Hockley County, near Lubbockmarker in 1960. In 1965, he graduated from the University of Texasmarker at Austinmarker, and in 1968, he earned his law degree from Baylor Universitymarker in Wacomarker. He was thereafter admitted to the bar and practiced law in Amarillomarker. He was a member of the Amarillo City Commission from 1981-1983.

Running for the Senate, 1988

Some of his staunchest supporters were dismayed that he would surrender a seemingly "safe" House set for the vagaries of challenging the popular Bentsen. "Say It Ain't So, Beau," said many GOP activists, who, while in full support of Boulter, doubted that any Republican in 1988 could unseat the entrenched Bentsen. After all, Bentsen had already defeated three sitting Republican congressmen from presumably "safe" districts: George Herbert Walker Bush of Houstonmarker in 1970, Alan Steelman of Dallasmarker in 1976, and James M. Collins of Dallas in 1982.

Meanwhile, Boulter had difficulty winning the Republican Senate nomination. In the primary, he trailed his opponent Houstonmarker businessman Wes Gilbreath, a friend of the Bushes. Boulter's 228,676 votes (30.5%) were nearly 50,000 below the 275,080 ballots (36.7%) received by Gilbreath. In the low-turnout runoff, Boulter prevailed with 111,134 ballots (60.2%) to Gilbreath's 73,573 (39.8%). The primary totals were a harbinger that Boulter might be yet another weak Republican candidate trying the impossible task of unseating Bentsen, who despite a generally liberal voting record in the U.S. Senate was perceived by most voters as "moderate" to "conservative". Wes Gilbreath two years later was the unsuccessful Republican nominee for land commissioner. He was defeated by the Democratic incumbent, Garry Mauro.

Boulter tried to make an issue of Bentsen's use of the "Johnson Law," which allowed the senator to run for vice president while also seeking reelection to the Senate. Boulter took the prolife position in the campaign, whereas Bentsen supported a woman's right to procure an abortion. Boulter polled 2,129,228 (40 percent) to Bentsen's 3,149,806 (60 percent). Bentsen's raw vote was the highest numerically ever obtained by a statewide Democratic candidate in Texas history. Boulter's showing was disappointing to the GOP because the candidate at the top of the Republican ticket, George Herbert Walker Bush, who also had been the first of the four senatorial nominees to lose to Bentsen, was winning Texas' electoral votes with ease. Moreover, Boulter's 13th District congressional seat went Democratic once again, with the election of then state Senator Bill Sarpalius.

Attempted congressional comeback fails, 1992

Boulter had also lost his initial run for the U.S. House in 1982, when Bentsen led the Democrats to victory in all statewide offices. Boulter attempted a congressional comeback in 1992. He was defeated by the incumbent Sarpalius, 117,892 votes (60 percent) to Boulter's 77,514 (40 percent).

Boulter today

Today, Boulter owns a successful real estate company in Amarillo and a lobbying firm in Washington, D.C.marker, called Beau Boulter, LLC. Boulter's clients have included the United Seniors Association, an organization associated with the entertainer Art Linkletter, but with ties to Jack Abramoff and CapitolWatch, a taxpayers lobby that Boulter chaired in the late 1980s. Boulter and his wife, Rosemary R. Boulter (born 1943), live in Falls Church, Virginiamarker. They have three children: Rebecca, Matthew, and Elizabeth.

External links

  • http://www.infoplease.com/biography/us/congress/boulter-eldon-beau.html
  • http://boulter.com/boulter/people.html
  • http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=B000666
  • http://elections.sos.state.tx.us/elchist.exe
  • Congressional Quarterly's Guide to U.S. Elections



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