Texas held its primary election for the 2022 midterms on Tuesday. The ballots hosted an extensive list of candidates hoping to represent Texans from Washington, DC to Austin and all the way down to local school boards. Energy Workforce is tracking several races that are of particular interest to our Member Companies, due to their jurisdiction and influence on the energy services sector.
Gov. Greg Abbott met a few serious challengers in Tuesday’s primary election. While he ultimately earned 66% of the vote, securing him as the Republican nominee, he will now focus on a general election where he will meet Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke, whose name recognition from a previous Senate run will make him a tough competitor for the governor’s office in November.
The Attorney General’s race was one of the most heated races of the primary. Incumbent Attorney General Ken Paxton and Land Commissioner George P. Bush will meet in a runoff in May. The Attorney General has the authority to file lawsuits on behalf of the State of Texas, like the ones led by Paxton in the past year to counter many of the federal regulations on the oil and gas industry. Bush has been a close ally to the energy services sector. Energy Workforce had the opportunity to host Bush at a roundtable event at Member Company Odessa Pumps in Midland in 2021. The Republican nominee will face Rochelle Garza who earned the Democratic nomination outright on Tuesday.
Incumbent Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian will face newcomer Sarah Stogner in the May Republican runoff for perhaps the most consequential seat for the energy industry in Texas. The Railroad Commission is charged with regulating the oil and gas industry at the state level, and the person who fills this seat will have extraordinary influence over oil and gas operations in Texas. The winner of the Republican nomination will face Luke Warford, who ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination.
U.S. House District 2
Congressman Dan Crenshaw, who sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, avoided a runoff on Tuesday by taking 75% of the Republican vote in his Houston area district. Crenshaw’s seat on the Energy and Commerce committee has him in a powerful position to affect energy policy at a federal level. His ties to Houston and the energy industry put him in a valuable position to advocate for the energy services sector in Washington. Crenshaw will face Robin Fulford, who ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination.
U.S. House District 7
Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher, another member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination for this recently redrawn TX-07 district. Although her new district lines exclude many of the energy companies she currently represents, her seat on the Energy and Commerce Committee still allows her to be an important voice for the industry in Washington. Energy Workforce Member Companies had the opportunity to engage with Fletcher on several occasions including during the 2021 Washington, DC Fly In and during a virtual roundtable, where she shared her thoughts on the energy transition and the future of clean energy. The Republican race for this seat resulted in a runoff between Johnny Teague and Tim Stroud. The winner of the May runoff will face Fletcher in the November election.
U.S. House District 8
The race to replace retiring Congressman Kevin Brady for the TX-08 district was full of contenders battling for the Republican nomination. With votes still being counted, Marcus Luttrell is currently leading with 52.5%, followed by Christian Collins coming in second with 22% of the vote. Luttrell is a former Trump Administration appointee who worked at the Department of Energy for former Energy Secretary Rick Perry. If the remaining votes push Luttrell under the 50% threshold, he will participate in the May runoff election against Collins. The winner of the May runoff will face Laura Jones, who ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination.
U.S. House District 38
The TX-38 district is a new seat in the Texas Congressional delegation located in the Houston area. This open seat drew several contenders from both Republicans and Democrats. Wesley Hunt has secured the Republican nomination, while Democrats Diana Martinez Alexander and Duncan F. Klussmann will likely meet again for the May runoff election. This seat, which extends into Northwest Houston, will represent many companies and individuals in the energy industry. Energy Workforce Member Companies had the opportunity to engage with Wesley Hunt in a 2020 at a virtual roundtable, where he shared his thoughts on the future of the industry.
If your company is interested in working with the Council’s Government Affairs Committee, contact SVP Government Affairs & Counsel Tim Tarpley.
Deidre Kohlrus, Director Government Affairs, writes about industry-specific policies for the Energy Workforce & Technology Council. Click here to subscribe to the Energy Workforce newsletter, which highlights sector-specific issues, best practices, activities and more.