ODESSA, Texas (Nexstar)- Last week, oil and gas leaders from across the globe flocked to West Texas for the Permian Basin International Oil to showcase industry innovations and network with oil and gas producers. Among those in the Basin was Republican gubernatorial candidate Chad Prather. 

Prather said he visits the area often putting on comedy shows. This visit, however, was no laughing matter. 

“As an average citizen with a pretty big voice and following out there, I’m going to throw my hat in the ring and put my money where my mouth is,” Prather said. 

Prather announced his run for governor in 2020, amid a worldwide pandemic that hit the oil and gas industry hard. Now Prather wants those in the business to know he is paying attention. 

“People don’t trust the government…we’ve got to change all that. This is people’s lives that are at stake. We’ve seen that over the past 18 months. People’s livelihoods have been shut down and deemed non-essential. We’ve got to stop big government and its overreach. We’re trying to wake up from a nightmare right now,” Prather said. 

Those in the Basin, who saw the oil and gas industry come to a near complete shutdown in 2020, are taking notice of Prather and his campaign. Dozens turned up at the Rusty Bucket on October 21 to grab yard signs and show their support for the candidate. Those voters expressed their growing excitement at seeing new and unique candidates like Prather stepping up to run in 2022. 

“It’s refreshing to see a candidate that’s just like us; cut from the same cloth! For far too long politicians have put their interests above ours and that’s more noticeable today with the way things are are currently going. He (Prather) believes that government should operate in the background and that it should work for us…not the other way around. That’s why he’s the candidate I’ll be voting for,” said Midland voter Larry Hinkle.

According to Ballotpedia, in addition to Prather, the following gubernatorial candidates will also be on the 2022 primary ballot:

Daniel Harrison (R)

Paul Belew (R)

Donald Huffines (R)

Allen B. West (R)

Larry Baggett (D)

Michael Cooper (D)

Dierdre Dickson-Gilbert (D)

Delilah Barrios (G)

Pattrick Wynne (Reform)

Texas will hold its primary election March 1, 2022.  Incumbent Governor, Republican Greg Abbott, will take on the primary winners in November.