Rep. Graves on Coalition, 09/19/68: State Representative Curtis Graves expresses his personal support for presidential nominee Hubert Humphrey, but stops short of committing the endorsement of the New Democratic Coalition of Texas, for which Graves served as chairman. He then explains the purpose of the coalition. On September 14, some 250 liberal Democrats from across the state met at the Driskill Hotel in Austin. During the 10-hour meeting, billed as a state convention, attendees established the group's governing structure and debated how to proceed with the presidential election following a contentious Democratic primary. (As Graves comments here, the coalition resolved to allow its members to decide their preference for Humphrey for themselves.) Delegates also approved more than a dozen resolutions, including one calling for the abolition of the Texas Rangers and another opposing the reappointment of Frank Erwin to the University of Texas Board of Regents. Creation of the coalition followed liberal Democrats' dissatisfaction with party leadership, particularly Governor John Connally, at both the state and national conventions. In his remarks at the meeting, Graves called the state party establishment "Democratic in May and Dixiecrat in November." Graves served in the Texas House of Representatives from 1967 to 1973. Along with Barbara Jordan and Joe Lockridge, Graves was one of the first African Americans elected to the Texas Legislature since 1896.