Republican candidates for Texas Railroad Commission head to a runoff

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May 30, 2012

By Greg Janetka

AUSTIN, Texas: Two of the three seats on the Texas Railroad Commission are up for election this year. Although commissioners traditionally serve six year terms and one seat is up for election on schedule, there is a special election this year for the seat currently held by Barry Smitherman. Smitherman was appointed to the commission in July 2011 to replace Michael Williams, who vacated the office to run for Congress. Smitherman is running for election to a partial, two-year term to fill the remainder of Williams' unexpired term.[1]

The other seat up for election this year is currently held by Buddy Garcia, who was appointed in April 2012 to serve until the November 6 general election. Garcia filled the vacancy left by Elizabeth Ames Jones, who resigned to run for Texas State Senate. The winner of this election will serve a full, six-year term. Garcia is not running.[1]

In yesterday's primary election, Republican candidates squared off in both races, and both appear (as of midnight Tuesday) to be headed to a runoff. No candidate in either of the two primaries captured more than 50% of the vote, so the top two vote getters will face off in a July 31st runoff election.[2]

Railroad Commissioner (Full term)

The winner of the Republican runoff primary will meet three other candidates in November's general election: Democratic candidate Dale Henry and Green Party candidate Chris Kennedy. Vivekananda Wall and Thomas Nance III are running as Libertarians. Their nominee will be determined at the party's state convention on June 9.[3]

Texas Railroad Commissioner, Full term, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngChristi Craddick 35.9% 421,610
Green check mark transparent.pngWarren Chisum 27.2% 320,052
Becky Berger 12% 140,752
Joe Cotten 10.5% 123,137
Roland Sledge 9.9% 116,122
Beryl Burgess 4.6% 53,553
Total Votes 1,175,226
Election Results via The Texas Secretary of State.

Railroad Commissioner (Unexpired term)

No Democratic candidates filed for this election. The winner of the Republican runoff primary will meet Libertarian candidate Jaime Perez and Green Party candidate Josh Wendel in the general election in November.

Texas Railroad Commissioner, Unexpired term, Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngBarry Smitherman Incumbent 44.2% 497,100
Green check mark transparent.pngGreg Parker 27.8% 311,903
Elizabeth Murphy-Kolb 21.5% 241,784
Al Lee 6.5% 72,867
Total Votes 1,123,654
Election Results via The Texas Secretary of State.

Update (July 6, 2012) - The above results were automatically changed to reflect the official total.

See also