The notorious Parr family manipulated local politics in South Texas for decades. Archie Parr, his son George, and his grandson Archer relied on violence and corruption to deliver the votes that propelled their chosen candidates to office. The influence of the Parr political machine peaked during the 1948 senatorial primary, when election officials found the infamous Ballot Box 13 six days after the polls closed. That box provided a slim eighty-seven-vote lead to Lyndon B. Johnson, initiating the national political career of the future U.S. president.
Dukes of Duval County begins with Archie Parr’s organization of the Mexican American electorate into a potent voting bloc, which marked the beginning of his three-decade campaign for control of every political office in Duval County and the surrounding area.