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Adán V. Gonzales was born in Sugarland, Texas in 1928. His family lived in Dinero, Texas and worked for rancher Holman Cartwright for a time before moving to Beeville, Texas. Mr. Gonzales quit school in tenth grade. He developed an interest in politics and furthering opportunities for Mexican Americans prior to his being drafted into military service. When he returned to Beeville, he worked at Chase Field (later the U.S. Naval Air Station-Beeville). He was the first Mexican American to open a commercial lending company in Beeville. In 1966, he was first elected to the newly added office of Justice of the Peace in Bee County. He was first elected as a county commissioner in 1970 and served in that office for 18 years. He was affiliated with the Democratic Party, the Political Association of Spanish-speaking Organizations (PASSO), and the Viva Kennedy Clubs.
Adán V. Gonzales first details his family background in Bee County, Texas and his lifelong experiences with race discrimination. He tells about his involvement in the election of Louis Duffy as county sheriff against notorious incumbent Robert Vail Ennis. He discusses his failures and successes in business and how he brought about more opportunities for Mexican Americans in Bee County and at Chase Field (later the U.S. Naval Air Station-Beeville). He attributes his success in becoming a county commissioner to the assistance of then attorney Jimmy DeAnda, and hails the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project for its part in fighting a number of legal battles over Bee County elections.
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