The race to oversee Texas’ oil and gas industry has a Democrat entrant, with Luke Warford announcing his candidacy this week.

Despite its name, the Texas Railroad Commission has not regulated railroads since 2005. The three-member panel is responsible for something far more critical to Texas infrastructure: overseeing the oil and gas industry for which Texas is the No. 1 producer in the United States. 

Commissioners serve six-year terms, with one seat open for election every two years.

Despite his optimism, Warford—who formerly served as chief strategist for the Texas Democrat Party—is still running in a state that prides itself on oil and gas production.

The following objectives are listed on the Texas Democrat Party platform:

  • Support the Green New Deal, both nationally and in Texas
  • Uphold stringent regulations on oil and gas operations
  • Reform the Texas Railroad Commission
  • Rejoin the Paris Climate Accord and providing decisive leadership to combat Climate Change worldwide
  • End state and federal subsidies and tax incentives for oil and gas production


Last year, the Democrat nominee for the Texas Railroad Commission was beaten substantially by Jim Wright. However, Luke Warford believes the tides have turned. Following winter storm Yuri and the subsequent blackouts, many Texans placed blame on ERCOT, with six members of ERCOT resigning in the fallout. 

Warford hopes that the same blame can be focused on the Railroad Commission.

The Republican incumbent, Wayne Christian, has already drawn two primary challengers: Tom Slocum Jr. of Houston and Dwayne Tipton of Killeen. So far, no other Democrats have announced a challenge against Warford.

Griffin White

After graduating high school with an associates degree in fine arts, Griffin chose to seek experience in his field of interest rather than attend university. He describes himself as a patriotic Fort Worth native with a passion for cars and guitars. He is now a fellow for Texas Scorecard.

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