Three candidates are running in the Republican primary election for Texas Commissioner of Agriculture on March 1, 2022. Incumbent Sid Miller and James White lead in fundraising, endorsements, and media attention.
Miller was first elected agriculture commissioner in 2014 and won re-election in 2018. He represented District 59 in the Texas House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013. Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Miller, calling him an “early fighter for our America First agenda.” According to The Dallas Morning News’ Sami Sparber, Miller said he was running for re-election because there were “projects I need to finish before I move on.”
White, who has represented District 19 in the Texas House of Representatives since 2011, said, “I am running for Ag Commissioner because I am a proven conservative who will restore integrity to this crucial agency that oversees over $115 billion in annual economic impact to our state.” The Houston Chronicle endorsed White, saying, “We agree with White’s core message: Texans deserve better than a commissioner who has put personal gain and cronyism far ahead of farmers and ranchers.”
According to Sparber, “White is campaigning as an ethics-focused foil to Miller, taking digs at the incumbent’s past controversies. […] More recently, a political consultant for Miller was arrested in an alleged scheme to sell access to hemp licenses, which are issued by Miller’s department.”
Miller responded to accusations: “The penalty is the process. All they need is some kind of headline. … They’re trying to confuse people with misinformation, paint me in a bad light. It’s not going to work. People know me. I’ve got a stellar record as your Ag Commissioner.” He also said that White “doesn’t know anything about the agency.”
Southern Methodist University political science professor Cal Jillson said, “Miller has the facility for getting himself in difficult situations, in terms of both politics and ethics. … He’s the likely favorite, but he’s not invulnerable.”
Carey Counsil, an economics professor and rancher, is also running in the primary.