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.
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