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Funded in part by a grant from TexTreasures and by the UT Arlington Library.

Marc Campos

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(91 pages)

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Marc Campos was born in Baytown, Texas in 1952. He attended Lee Junior College where he served as the student body president and was a photographer for the college newspaper. He continued his studies at the University of Houston and the University of Texas at Austin. He was a founder of the Mexican American Democrats of Texas (MAD) and served as chairman from 1979 to 1981. In 2009, Marc Campos was president of his own public relations and political consulting company, Campos Communications.

Interview Summary:

Marc Campos begins with his family's background and describes the activities of his dad, Tony Campos, and his dad's coworker, Felix Tijerina, in the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). He notes Tijerina was the founder of Felix's Mexican Restaurant chain in Houston and created the School of Four Hundred for teaching basic English. He attributes his interest in politics to his dad's involvement in Viva Kennedy Clubs and campaign support of Waggoner Carr and Lloyd Bentsen. Marc Campos reveals his own awareness of the racial segregation in the schools and recounts details of a race riot at his high school. He shares the pivotal moment he became personally involved in the political arena with the Frances Sissy Farenthold campaign for governor of Texas and his work in the in the George S. McGovern presidential campaign. He talks about his associations with his contemporaries Rick Hernández, Richard Moya and John Castillo and gives his opinion on prominent political figures Dolph Briscoe and Texas Democratic Party chairman Calvin Guest. He comments on his work with Ben T. Reyes and Leonel Castillo, states his preference for working within the Democratic Party rather than with the Raza Unida Party, and comments on his growing realization of the Chicano movement. He elaborates upon the founding of the Mexican American Democrats of Texas (MAD) with Gonzalo Barrientos and Grace García and that group's support for Sargent Shriver for president. He tells about a confrontation at a MAD convention between supporters for Albert Bustamante and supporters for Leonel J. Castillo, Joe Bernal and Alicia Chacón, and expresses his frustration when working in South Texas for MAD. He skirts his involvement in an Federal Bureau of Investigation inquiry at the request of Luis Díaz de León, during the time Díaz de León campaigned against Robert Krueger for U.S. Senate. He contrasts presidential appointments made under several administrations, noting particularly those under Jimmy Carter. He covers the period when he was chairman of the Mexican American Democrats and garnered support for Edward Kennedy's nomination as the Democratic candidate prior to the 1980 elections. He credits Hispanic participation in the 1982 Texas gubernatorial campaigns for increased administrative opportunities for Mexican Americans in Texas government and cites the example of Nora Linares as head of Texas Lottery and the first woman to chair MAD. He gives details about working for Texas Governor Mark White as a special assistant for legislation, noting the race discrimation he experienced in that role, and relates his part in a number of campaigns in the elections of Ben T. Reyes, Al Luna, and Roman Martínez. He reveals the conflicts within MAD, including a confrontation between Richard Moya and Juan Maldonado, and the split that led to the formation of the Tejano Democrats. He concludes with comments on his work for Mexico in promoting the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

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