"If you were an Ann Richards fan, you could memorialize her by endorsing her own candidate -- Kinky," Smith wrote in her Tuesday column. "And if you are a real Democrat, a populist or a liberal-thinking person, I'd say Kinky is your man. I hope he wins."
Richards' four children immediately responded their mother was a loyal Democrat did not support Friedman's independent campaign, the Houston Chronicle reported Wednesday.
"Ann Richards did not support Kinky Friedman for governor of Texas nor endorse him before she died," they said in a statement. "She was very concerned about this election. She always voted a straight Democratic ticket."
Democratic nominee Chris Bell was also taken aback by Smith's words.
"Ann Richards' legacy is my agenda," he said, calling her "a true-blue Democrat."
Smith admitted she "jumped to a conclusion that I shouldn't have printed."
In her defense, she said, "We had talked a lot about Kinky and weird candidacies and offbeat candidacies, and things are so pathetic in Texas, I jumped to a conclusion that I shouldn't have printed."