Sid Miller wins Texas Agriculture Commissioner Republican primary

Incumbent Sid Miller defeated Carey Counsil and James White in the Republican primary for Texas Commissioner of Agriculture on March 1, 2022. With 98% of polling locations reporting, Miller received 59% of the vote, followed by White with 31% and Counsil with 10%.

Miller was first elected agriculture commissioner in 2014 and was re-elected in 2018. He was formerly a member of the Texas House of Representatives, representing District 59 from 2001 to 2013. Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Miller in December 2021. Miller said, “I’m a political maverick … I’m the only statewide [official] that actually holds liberals accountable and the establishment Republicans accountable.” According to The Dallas Morning News‘ Sami Sparber, Miller said he ran for re-election because there were “projects [he needed] to finish before [he moved] on.” The Texas Tribune‘s James Barragán wrote, “Miller said voters should reelect him because he has a track record of successfully running the agency.”

According to Barragán, Miller’s Republican and Democratic challengers “[called] his ethics into question while linking him to the recent arrest of [longtime political consultant Todd Smith].” Miller responded to criticism from his opponents: “We have the highest ethics of any elected official in the state. … These guys are way behind. They’re desperate, and desperate candidates do desperate things. … 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.”

Counsil, an economics professor and rancher, said, “I think people are tired of the status quo and people are tired of the career politicians and people want fresh blood. People want people that are in the industry.” The editorial board of The Dallas Morning News and The Amarillo Pioneer‘s publisher’s committee endorsed Counsil in the Republican primary.

White, who has represented District 19 in the Texas House of Representatives since 2011, said he was a “proven conservative who will restore integrity to this crucial agency that oversees over $115 billion in annual economic impact to our state.” According to The Dallas Morning News, White “[ran] on a platform of organizational reform,” and “promised to make the pricing process for permits and licenses ‘methodological and transparent.’” The editorial boards of the Houston Chronicle, the San Antonio Express-News, and the Austin American-Statesman endorsed White in the Republican primary.

Miller faced two challengers in the 2018 Republican primary and won the party’s nomination by a margin of 33 percentage points.

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