Election 2010 – Texas State Agriculture Commissioner
Texas doesn’t have many exciting primaries this year. If the race is contested, well, odds are that it is one Democrat going up against one Republican. But this race has the potential to be a barn burner both in the Democratic primary and then in the general election when one of two Democrats will emerge to face incumbent Republican Todd Staples.
Todd Staples has a biography that reads like one long ladder up the political hierarchy of Texas. Starting out as a Vice President for the Future Farmers of America and as a City Councilor in his home town of Palestine, he also served as Mayor, State Representative and State Senator before being elected as the State Agriculture Commissioner in 2006. As can be imagined, water issues, immigration and migrant work are issues that he has focused on, more often than not toeing the conservative line on such topics. To learn more about Todd Staples and his campaign for reelection, click here.
Texas voters have already had the chance to vote for one of the candidates in a statewide race. Humorist, singer and rancher Kinky Friedman moved from a gubernatorial campaign to this race after Bill White entered for the top job, one that Friedman ran for as an independent candidate in 2006 and won over 500,000 votes in a six way race. Seemingly taking this run more seriously, he is focusing on farming co-ops and increasing grants for small farms. To learn more about his campaign, click here.
Hank Gilbert also switched from a gubernatorial bid, one where he had already been focusing on agriculture and the environment, so this race seems like a natural fit. A candidate in 2006 where he had a surprisingly strong showing for a statewide Democrat, Gilbert has a ranch in Whitehouse where he participates in a co-op. He also taught high school agriculture for 14 years right out of college at A&M. To learn more, click here.