Richards, Ann Willis, 1933–2006, American politician, b. Lakeview, Tex., as Dorothy Ann Willis. She began her career in politics in the early 1970s after having raised four children. A Democrat, she served as county commissioner in Travis co., Tex. from 1977 to 1982. Richards was elected to the first of two terms as Texas state treasurer in 1982. A forcefully articulate speaker who often infused her commentary with a witty and frequently acid-tinged folksiness, she gained national prominence with her keynote address at the 1988 Democratic National Convention. In 1990 Richards was elected governor of Texas, but she did not survive the conservative Republican tide that swept the nation in 1994 and was narrowly defeated in her reelection bid by George W. Bush.
See her Straight from the Heart (1989) and I'm Not Slowing Down (2004); biography by J. Reid (2012).