Mayor’s longevity outshined remark
Late Richmond chief’s welfare comments sparked controversy.
buried Hilmar Moore of Richmond this month. Moore, 92, had been mayor of his small town near Houston since 1949, winning 32 elections and earning acclaim as the longest continuously serving elected public official in the United States.
Amazing. Call me if you know of any who’ve served longer (and, as I have, please resist snark-infested references to Rick Perry).
The best I’ve come up with is Mayor John Land of Apopka, Fla. (Apopka is fun to say, isn’t it?)
Land, 92, served from 1949 until he was defeated in 1968. He mounted a successful comeback in 1970 and has served since then for a total of 61 years, though interrupted.
Moore’s fame crossed great bodies of water. This year, the BBC interviewed him about his longevity. (Relevant benchmark: Moore became His Honor three years before Queen Elizabeth became Her Majesty.)
In Moore’s life there is a lesson about the value of public service.
And there’s another lesson: If you’re going to say something monumentally dumb, it’s best to cloak it in a long life of public service.
When I heard he’d died, I remembered Moore once said something nutty, but I couldn’t pinpoint it. A line in his paid obit about serving years ago as chairman of the Texas Board of Human
Richmond Mayor Hilmar Moore stirred controversy when he said welfare recipients should lose their right to have children.