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Republican candidate for Ag Commissioner asks incumbent to suspend campaign

Rep. James White said there are too many allegations of wrongdoing that have followed current commissioner Sid Miller since he first took office in 2014.

DALLAS — State Rep. James White isn’t holding back in his bid to become the state’s 13th agriculture commissioner. White has relentlessly attacked incumbent Commissioner Sid Miller’s record and ethics controversies since announcing his run last summer.  

“I’m asking the Commissioner to suspend his campaign,” White said on Inside Texas Politics.

Last May, one of  Miller’s political consultants was arrested and accused of taking money and campaign contributions in exchange for hemp licenses issued by the Department of Agriculture. Miller stressed he’s never been charged with any crimes or ethics violations and he told Inside Texas Politics there’s nothing to the allegations against his consultant. But White said it’s just one of many allegations of wrongdoing that have followed Miller since he first took office in 2014.

Still, White has some ground to make up. According to the most recent Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation poll, among the most likely GOP primary voters, Commissioner Miller leads Rep. White 34% to 3%. The third Republican in the race, Carey Counsil came in at 2%.  Former President Donald Trump has endorsed Miller.

“It’s just unfortunate that the current commissioner did not tell the President, before he did that announcement on his behalf, he did not tell the President that his campaign consultant has been picked up by Texas law enforcement, arrested and sent to the Travis County jail and is under investigation,” Rep. White said.

Before he was first elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 2010, White was a teacher and coach in southeast Texas. The Republican from Hillister said he’s also a small cattle producer himself, so he’ll look for ways to lower taxes and further promote the industry. 

And while he is trailing in the race, there is still time. That same Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation poll also shows that six-out-of-10 Texans still don’t know who they’re voting for in this race.

“I love farmers and ranchers because they’re that group of folks that really determine the prosperity of our state and the freedom of our state,” he said.

The Texas Primary is currently scheduled for March 1, 2022.