2014 Texas Railroad Commissioner Race
|2014 Texas Railroad Commissioner Race|
|Republican Primary||March 4, 2014|
|Democrat Primary||March 4, 2014 (if needed)|
|General Election||November 4, 2014|
Texas will have an election for one of its three Railroad Commissioners on November 4, 2014. Each commissioner serves for a 6-year term, with one position up for election every other year. The incumbent for this year's position is Barry Smitherman, who is running for Attorney General.
MCTP Endorses - Wayne Christian - Christian is a solid, proven Tea Party conservative whose Ted Cruz-like legislative and oil and gas (O&G) experience give him a leg up on fellow conservative opponents, including O&G engineer Ryan Sitton and O&G small businessman and former regulatory attorney Malachi Boyuls. See Vetting Summary below for more analysis.
Description of the Office
The Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) is really a misnomer. While it was originally established to regulate railroads, those activities have been taken over by federal entities and the Texas Department of Transportation. However, after its creation, the commission was also placed in charge of regulating many O&G-related activities, and many of these functions remain, along with its outdated name. Its current set of responsibilities include the regulation of:
- Oil and natural gas industry
- Liquefied petroleum
- Coal and uranium mining
The three commissioners jointly oversee the operation of the RRC.
Answers to MCTP Questionnaire
While Christian's long tenure in government is a temptation to consider either Sitton or Boyuls, we don't want to eliminate fighters like Christian who are solidly in the conservative/Tea Party camp. Christian has demonstrated his conservative/Tea Party stripes even in the face of adversity, such as when he was redistricted out of his House seat by RINO House Speaker Joe Straus.
Although both Sitton and Boyuls have hands-on business experience, with huge upside potential, neither has an exemplary conservative voting track record they can point to, as Christian does. Becky Berger did not respond to our questionnaire; she is reported to be a moderate "establishment" Republican.