Dallas attorney Ray Hutchison, a former legislator, gubernatorial candidate and husband of former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, died Sunday afternoon, friends of the family said Monday morning. He was 81.
Elton Ray Hutchison was a state representative from Dallas from 1973 to 1977, a time when Republicans were rare birds in that body. He became chairman of the Republican Party of Texas in 1976, a job he left to run for governor in 1978.
The Republicans elected a governor that year, but it was Bill Clements, who had defeated Hutchison in the primary.
Hutchison met his second wife, then known as Kay Bailey, in the House, where both were Republican legislators. After ending his own political career with that 1978 race for governor, he concentrated on his legal work and served as political consigliere to his wife, who ran successfully for state treasurer in 1990 and then won a special election to the U.S. Senate in 1993, when Lloyd Bentsen resigned to become U.S. Treasury secretary. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who unsuccessfully challenged Gov. Rick Perry in the 2010 Republican primary, retired from the Senate in 2013.
He was senior counsel in the Dallas office of Bracewell Giuliani, well-known as a specialist in government bonding. His client list included the DFW International Airport and DART. He worked on the deal to build what is now the Ballpark at Arlington and on various bond issues for school districts and other governments across North Texas