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Christi Craddick Will Run for Railroad Commissioner

Photo by Jeramey Jannene/Paul Lowry/Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

Christi Craddick, daughter of former House Speaker Tom Craddick, says she'll run for the Republican nomination for the Texas Railroad Commission next year — for the seat now held by Republican Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones.

Jones has set her sights on a U.S. Senate race and won't seek reelection.

Craddick could face a crowded field. State Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, has said he'll run for the commission. Roland Sledge, a Houston oil and gas attorney and the brother-in-law of former Texas A&M Chancellor and state Rep. Mike McKinney, is in the race. And Comal County Commissioner Gregory Parker has been exploring the possibility. All of those candidates and potential candidates are Republicans.

Here's Craddick's announcement:

Christi Craddick is proud to formally announce her candidacy for Texas Railroad Commissioner.  Craddick will seek the Republican nomination for the seat being vacated by Commissioner Elizabeth Ames-Jones who is running for the U.S. Senate. “The Texas Railroad Commission’s role in ensuring the state’s energy industry remains strong is more important today than ever before," said Craddick, a native of Midland, Texas.  "The increase in oil and natural gas production and the challenges associated with a dynamic industry are complex issues that require thoughtful, reasonable leadership.  As a commissioner, I look forward to helping lead on these important issues addressed by the Texas Railroad Commission.” “Growing up in the Permian Basin, I have a unique understanding of the oil and gas industry.  It is the economic engine that drives the Texas economy," Craddick explained.  "But our state’s economy is under attack by the federal government as the EPA threatens to shut down energy exploration, which will cost Texans jobs. We need strong, conservative leadership pushing back against Washington’s liberal, job-killing policies." “To ensure future economic prosperity, Texas must have a vibrant energy industry that continues to create jobs and to grow our economy. I look forward to traveling the state of Texas and listening to the voters,” concluded Craddick. Craddick’s priorities on the Commission will be: Ensuring the Texas oil and gas industry is healthy, prosperous and continues to be a job-creator; Protecting individual private property rights; Strongly opposing unnecessary and punitive federal regulation; Maintaining the safety of our state's pipelines; and Defending our water and environment.Christi Craddick is a small business owner and attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues and environmental policy.  She is a longtime conservative activist, a member of the State Bar of Texas, and earned her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Texas at Austin.