AUSTIN (KXAN) — On Tuesday, Texans voted on their next railroad commissioner — a role that has nothing to do with railroads and everything to do with oil and gas.
The Associated Press projected incumbent Wayne Christian won re-election for the seat, beating three other candidates.
Christian said Tuesday it was a “great honor” to win the election.
“You look at the entire state of Texas to … have the confidence of people to elect you to office is a humbling experience, and there’s a lot of responsibility there, living up to the trust they’ve extended to me as voters across the state,” Christian said.
The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) is the primary state agency responsible for regulating Texas’ oil and gas industry. The three-member commission has jurisdiction over pipelines, natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas, the LP-gas industry, and coal and uranium surface mining. The RRC also has oversight over Texas energy industries and enforces related state and federal laws.
These were the four candidates: Republican incumbent Wayne Christian, Democratic nominee Luke Warford and two third-party candidates — Libertarian Jaime Andres Diez and Hunter Wayne Crow of the Green Party.
Christian received 4,390,612 votes (55.40%), Warford got 3,210,066 votes (40.51%), Diez had 238,769 votes (3.01%) and Crow received 85,253 votes (1.08%).
Christian and Warford garnered most of the focus in the race.
Warford focused on securing the power grid, decreasing utility prices and protecting air and water. He issued a statement Wednesday morning, conceding to Christian.
“From the start of this campaign, we’ve made the case to Texans that we need drastic changes at the Texas Railroad Commission, and I’m proud of the work we’ve done to draw attention to this critical office. Winning statewide as a Democrat in Texas was always going to be an uphill battle, and unfortunately, we came up short of the votes necessary to win this election,” Warford said in the statement. “I congratulate Wayne Christian on his victory and hope he recognizes that there is an appetite for change at the Texas Railroad Commission. I want to thank my team, our countless supporters, and everyone I met on the campaign trail over the past year. The fight continues.”
Christian’s plans are “to fight back against the Biden administration’s radical anti-oil and gas agenda to increase the domestic production of oil and natural gas to decrease the cost of gas and groceries and increase energy security.”