DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Ramsey Muniz, who received more than 210,000 votes as a 1972 third-party candidate for governor in on a Hispanic rights platform but sentenced to life without parole in 1994 on a drug conviction, was released from prison after years of intense efforts by family and supporters to obtain that release.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons says Muniz was released from the Federal Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, on Dec. 10. His trial attorney, Dick DeGuerin of Houston, says the 75-year-old former La Raza Unida Party candidate for governor is in poor health and spends his days in bed or a wheelchair.

DeGuerin said the life sentence was mandatory under federal law because the 1994 felony drug conviction was his third. His release was on compassionate grounds under federal supervision.

More than half a million Texas voters with Hispanic last names registered to vote for the first time last year.