Monday, June 6, 2016

Texas Railroad Commission a weak staging ground for higher office....


"The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you."
Philippians 4:9

As the early positioning for Election 2018 begins, it's worth examining what happened to the last two Texas Railroad Commission chairs who attempted to "move up."

In 2014, then Railroad Commission chairman Barry Smitherman ran for the open Attorney General seat; he didn't make it out of the first round:

Republican primary

[hide]Texas Attorney General Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngKen Paxton 44.5% 569,034
Green check mark transparent.pngDan Branch 33.4% 428,034
Barry Smitherman 22.1% 282,701
Total Votes 1,279,769

In 2012, then-Chairman Michael Williams attempted to run for a newly created Congressional seat [Full disclosure: At the time, we lived in the relevant district and voted for Williams.]; likewise, he failed to make the runoff:
2012 Republican Party Primary Election
Roger Williams 25.10%
Wes Riddle 14.56%
Justin Hewlett 12.03%
David "Dave" Garrison 11.99%
Michael Williams 10.49%
Dianne Costa 9.36%
Brian Matthews 3.54%
Charles Holcomb 3.28%
Chad Wilbanks 3.10%
Bill Burch 3.06%
James Dillon 2.28%
Ernie Beltz Jr. 1.16%
Also in 2012, Elizabeth Ames Jones proved unable to leverage a seat on the Railroad commission even into a Texas Senate race:
2012 Republican Party Primary Election
Jeff Wentworth 35.77%
Donna Campbell 33.68%
Elizabeth Ames Jones 30.53%
Over the past 20 years, Carole Keaton Strayhorn's 1998 Comptroller campaign is the only example of a member of the Railroad commission successfully running for another position (and we suspect Glenn Hegar will be fine).

Bottom Line: The phrase "don't quit your day job" comes to mind.

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