Monday, March 12, 2012

Texas Railroad Commission

Two of the 3 Texas Railroad Commission seats are on the ballot.

Chairman Barry Smitherman is seeking election to the remainder of Michael Williams' unexpired term ending in 2014.  Smitherman has 3 Republican opponents, 2 of whom filed last week.  The other candidate has been in and out of the race since last fall, and is now back in.  A Democrat did not file for this seat.

Smitherman has proven to be a prolific fundraiser, having now received contributions in excess of $1.5 million.  None of his opponents appear to have any money.  Smitherman's statewide radio began last week.  I would rate Smitherman as a heavy favorite.  (Full disclosure:  I serve as Smitherman's campaign treasurer).

The other seat is currently vacant because of the resignation of Elizabeth Ames Jones.  I expect Governor Perry to appoint Buddy Garcia as an interim commissioner in the near future.

Six Republicans and 1 Democrat are seeking election to this 6-year term ending in 2018.  The 3 candidates with funding are Rep. Warren Chisum; Christi Craddick and Roland Sledge.  I expect a runoff between Chisum and Craddick.

More information may be found at