Democrats are probably feeling a sigh of relief after Beto O’Rourke, the state party’s most prominent fundraiser and recognizable face, entered the race for Texas governor.
But further down the ballot, no Democrat has declared a run against Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, a rightwing Trump enthusiast who has held the position since 2015.
The only challengers Miller has at the moment are Republicans: Carey A. Counsil, a rancher and college professor, and East Texas state Rep. James White.
Miller’s hundreds of thousands of adoring fans on Facebook, his remaining cash on hand, and a likely incoming endorsement from Trump make those challenges seem like a distant possibility.
If things stay this way until the filing deadline on Dec. 13, Texans could wake up on Election Day with only one name on the ballot for the job that oversees the state’s food and nutrition.
That’s a shame considering Democratic candidate Kim Olson came within 5 percentage points of ousting Miller in 2018.
While in office, including his former time in the state legislature, Miller has spent time building up his credentials as a Tea Party Republican. More recently, he has been speaking at QAnon rallies with former GOP Chairman Allen West, getting duped by Borat, and appearing on his television show “Texas Agriculture Matters.”
With the exception of Rep. Louie Gohmert (who is considering a run for Texas attorney general that would amusingly pit maniac against criminal), no other elected official in Texas has amassed such a large collection of bizarre and stupid headlines.
Yes, there are the right-wing conspiracy theories that Miller has signed onto and is best-known for espousing, such as believing windmills caused the collapse of the power grid in February, or that George Soros is paying “domestic terrorists” to pretend to be protesters and start a race war.
But there’s also the uniquely dumb ideas that could only come from Miller, like his plan to use rat poison for a “feral hog apocalypse” — an idea that deeply concerned hunters and conservationists alike.
Since Miller is in power and faces no serious challengers as of yet, Texans should, unfortunately, continue to take those absurd ideas both seriously and literally.
Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org