Former Texas AG Mattox dies

AUSTIN (AP) - Ex-congressman and former Texas attorney general Jim Mattox has died.  Mattox was 65.  His sister today confirmed Mattox died at his home in Dripping Springs. The cause of death is pending.

Mattox, known as the junkyard dog of Texas politics, battled fellow Democrat Ann Richards in a vicious 1990 campaign for governor -- that she won.  Mattox started his career as the assistant district attorney in Dallas and later won a seat in the Texas House.

Mattox was elected to the U.S. House in 1976 and remained in office until 1982. He was elected attorney general in 1982 and re-elected in 1986.  Mattox sued Mobil Oil -- an action that benefited a campaign donor. Mattox was indicted on commercial bribery charges, but was acquitted in 1985.       Democratic Congressman Chet Edwards of Waco says Mattox was a tireless fighter for average working families in Texas.

Mattox is survived by his wife, Marta, and their two children, Jim and Cissy.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

AUSTIN - Gov. Rick Perry today issued the following statement on the death of former U.S. Congressman and Texas Attorney General Jim Mattox.

"Texans today mourn the loss of a genuine leader with the passing of Jim Mattox. His leadership, passion for and service to the state of Texas have left a lasting legacy.

"Anita and I extend our sincere condolences and prayers to his family and his friends all over the state."

Perry also directed that flags be flown at half-staff in memory of the Honorable Jim Mattox.

The governor's directive applies to all U.S. and Texas flags under the control of the state. Flags will be lowered immediately to half-staff on the state Capitol building and on flag displays in the Capitol complex, and upon all state buildings, grounds, and facilities throughout the state today and tomorrow, November 20 and 21, and lowered again on the date of interment once it is set by his family.

Individuals, businesses, municipalities, counties, and other political subdivisions are encouraged to fly the flag at half-staff for the same length of time as a sign of respect.