You would think that in Texas, a state that takes pride in individualists, all candidates for political office would be treated equally. You’d be wrong. By law, Texas divides political candidates into three groups: 1) those selected by political parties in primary elections, 2) those selected by political parties at conventions, and 3) independent candidates.
We are trapped in a seemingly inescapable tribal paradigm, and the one-punch option reinforced it by placing party identification at the top of the Texas ballot. But now, the first thing on the ballot will not be an invitation to swear tribal allegiance. The Texas ballot will be a collection of individuals still running under their party labels, but being considered as separate individuals in separate races.
When it comes to the office of Texas railroad commissioner, there’s not a more important elected position in Texas — and perhaps the nation — that so few people seem to know or care about. Here's how I would increase public trust in this vital agency.