Monday was the deadline for candidates seeking political office in Texas to file paperwork for their campaigns. Among them were seven candidates who announced they were running for a seat on the Railroad Commission, the state’s top oil and gas industry regulator.
The position will be left vacant after David Porter, the Republican chairman of the commission who was first elected in 2010, said last week that he would not seek reelection.
The group of challengers seeking Porter’s old spot include four Republicans and three Democrats. Here’s the list:
- Democrat Lon Burnam is a former state representative from Fort Worth who served nearly two decades in the Texas House, before losing in 2014
- Republican Wayne Christian from East Texas is a former state representative who ran for a seat on the RRC in 2014 but lost in a runoff
- Democrat Grady Yarbrough is a former educator from San Antonio who lost in a runoff for the 2012 Texas Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate
- Republican Gary Gates is a businessman from Richmond who owns Gatesco, a real estate investment company
- Republican John Greytok is a lawyer and lobbyist from Austin
- Republican Ron Hale is an engineer from Cypress whose website says he is the CEO for Duboise Industries
- Democrat Cody Garrett is former reporter for CBS 42 in Austin and a Democratic Party precinct chair in Texas
One surprise move was former Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson saying on Monday that he was declining to run. The Texas Tribune said Patterson cited billionaire Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump among his reasons for not joining the race.
The Tribune also noted that current Republican State Rep. Jim Keffer of Eastland said on Monday that he wouldn’t run after deliberating over the weekend.