Republican candidates win Board of Education, Railroad Commissioner

Republicans watch as clock winds down on election night on Tuesday night at the Republican Headquarters of McLennan County. Emileé Edwards | Photographer

By Benjamin Nopper | Contributor

Republican Texas Railroad Commissioner candidate James Wright held a 52% lead over Democratic candidate Chrysta Castañeda, who held 43% of votes as of 9 p.m.

Wright, an oil and gas businessman, said via his website said that he “believes that the Railroad Commission should continue to engage with the [oil and gas] industry and the public to find solutions to problems that will make a difference not only for Texans but in Washington and across the world.”

Wright defeated Republican incumbent Ryan Sitton in the Republican primary in March despite having a much smaller campaign budget.

Wright’s opponent, Castañeda, received over $4 million in contributions, according to Ballotpedia. Castañeda, who was seeking to win the first statewide seat for a Democrat in Texas in over 20 years, also received a donation from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

“The Railroad Commission’s number one job is to prevent waste and protect our natural resources,” Castañeda said via her website. “At this very minute, oil companies are lighting on fire enough energy to power the city of Houston, wasting natural gas and polluting our air. That does not make sense.”

In the race for Board of Education District 14, Republican incumbent Sue Melton-Malone held a 65% lead over Democrat Greg Alvord, who held 35% of the votes as of 9 p.m.

Melton-Malone, a Baylor alumna, said via her official website said she believes “decisions made concerning what happens in the classroom should be made by educators who have been in the classroom and know what our children and teachers need.”

The District 14 representative will oversee education and curriculum in the counties of Bosque, Brown, Comanche, Coryell, Denton, Eastland, Ellis, Erath, Hamilton, Hill, Hood, Jack, Johnson, Lampasas, McLennan, Mills, Navarro, Palo Pinto, Somervell, Stephens and Wise.