|Mark Wells White, Jr.|
January 18, 1983 – January 20, 1987
|Preceded by||Bill Clements|
|Succeeded by||Bill Clements|
46th Attorney General of Texas
January 19, 1979 – January 18, 1983
|Preceded by||John Luke Hill|
|Succeeded by||James Albon "Jim" Mattox|
74th Secretary of State of Texas
January 19, 1973 – October 27, 1977
|Preceded by||V. Larry Teaver, Jr.|
|Succeeded by||George Strake, Jr.|
|Born|| March 17, 1940|
|Died|| August 5, 2017 (aged 77)|
|Resting place||Texas State Cemetery in Austin|
|Spouse(s)||Linda Gale Thompson White (married 1966-2017, his death)|
|Children|| (1) Mark Wells White, III |
(2) Andrew White
(3) Elizabeth Marie White-Russell
|Alma mater|| Baylor University|
Baylor School of Law
Mark Wells White, Jr. (March 17, 1940 – August 5, 2017), was an American lawyer and Democratic politician who was the 43rd governor of his native Texas from 1983 to 1987. Earlier, he was the state attorney general from 1979 to 1983 and secretary of state for Texas from 1973 to 1977.
During a slump in the petroleum industry, White unseated Bill Clements of Dallas in the 1982 gubernatorial general election. Clements had been the state's first Republican governor in 105 years, but since 1995, no Democrat has served as governor of the state. Governor White sought to improve education, law enforcement, transportation, water resources, and he promoted industrial recruitment. He appointed the Dallas businessman and later third-party presidential contender Ross Perot to head an education commission that developed the controversial "no pass, no play" rule for athletes in Texas public schools. The change was in response to low Scholastic Aptitude Test scores at the time.
In the 1986 governor's race, however, Clements turned the tables on his rival White and reclaimed the office with 52.7 percent of the ballots cast. In 1990, White ran again but Clements retired. White and Jim Mattox, who had succeeded White as attorney general, lost the party's nomination that year to Ann Richards, the outgoing state treasurer, who went on to defeat the Republican businessman Clayton Wheat Williams, Jr. of Midland.
White's son, Andrew White, is a Democratic gubernatorial candidate in the runoff election scheduled for May 22, 2018. He polled 28.9 percent of the ballots cast in a nine-candidate field and faces the top vote-getter in the primary, Lupe Valdez, the liberal and openly lesbian former sheriff of Dallas County. The winner of the runoff then squares off on November 6 against Republican Governor Greg Abbott.