Three Republicans vying for the post of agriculture commissioner | Texas
(The Center Square) – Three Republicans are running for Texas agriculture commissioner, all claiming to be Conservatives.
One is the incumbent commissioner, another is Black Voices adviser to Trump and the third is a rancher with first-hand knowledge of agricultural policies and a political newcomer.
The incumbent Commissioner Sid Miller is running for re-election after being first elected in 2014. A former state representative, Miller served in the Texas legislature from 2003 to 2013.
One of his challengers, State Representative James White, R-Hillister, sits in the State House after being first elected in 2010.
Carey Counsil, a fifth-generation rancher, owner of a local Brenham business, real estate developer, professor of economics at Blinn College and new to politics, is the third candidate.
The Texas Agriculture Commissioner, who heads the state’s Department of Agriculture, is responsible for promoting agricultural production, protecting consumers, stimulating economic development, and overseeing rural health programs and school meals, among other tasks.
Miller, perhaps the most controversial, has been a thorn in the side of Republican leaders, criticizing them for failing to embrace the majority of the conservative policies promoted by the Texas Republican Party delegation and for advancing policies they he called it unconstitutional.
In March, Miller was among several Texans who sued Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and the Texas Senate over a mandatory COVID-19 testing requirement. He argued that the mandate was unconstitutional and in conflict with policies implemented by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who at the time had just relinquished the statewide mask mandate and declared Texas “100% open”.
Miller also joined another lawsuit against Abbott, after the governor single-handedly changed election law, a power vested only in the legislature, by extending the early voting period to November 2020. Before the election, the Harris County Democrats have implemented a drive-thru. voting system, and those who sued it have alleged an increase in voter fraud due to extended early voting.
A fierce critic of the governor, Miller wrote an open letter to Abbott last fall about his current lockdown policies. He wrote: “It’s time to STOP THE MADNESS… There is simply no logic in continuing to crush the freedoms of the free people of Texas in the name of fear and politics.
White cites his own “experience with agricultural issues and his commitment to integrity and ethics” as one of the reasons he comes forward. A new member of the Texas Freedom Caucus, several of his caucus colleagues supported him, as did House Speaker Dade Phelan R-Beaumont.
White is among 25 state lawmakers who have called for a special fourth legislative session after Abbott and lawmakers failed to address employer mandates on vaccines.
A military veteran, White was a member of the Black Voices for Trump advisory board, is a proponent of tighter border security, lower taxes and bureaucratic red tape. As chair of the House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee, White was instrumental in enacting unlicensed transportation legislation earlier this year.
In a recent interview with Brenham’s KWHI 1280 AM radio station, the Council explained why it is coming forward: to close the wage and profit gap from producer to distributor to consumer, secure water rights and other agricultural issues affecting all Texans.
He said, “I see a huge disparity between the consumer and the producer, and we need to correct that disparity. There is a huge disparity – what you see in grocery stores and… what farmers actually get. “
Farmers are paid much less than what consumers pay, he said. Grocery stores are raising prices that do not reflect the true value of the products they have purchased, hurting consumers and farmers in Texas, he added.
Another disparity that has not been resolved for years in Texas is the issue of water rights.
The council argues that “the government wants to extract water above the ground, and it is also interested in the groundwater rights of different states, and some states succumb to water rights. I just don’t see that water rights are anyone’s business other than the landowner, so it’s something I want to defend and protect.
The council said it wanted to be a link between Austin and the landowners, and “the mouthpiece for the common man and the common man.”
Appealing to all Texans as a political outsider, he said, “I am a supporter of the agricultural industry. I don’t have a lot of political experience, but I think the average person has had enough of the typical politician.
The nomination period for the 2020 election ends on December 13. The primary election is scheduled for March 1, 2022.