Campaign consultants keep taking Gary Gates to the cleaners as he desperately seeks one office after another. His reckless spending seeking Tuesday’s Texas Railroad Commission race demonstrates that even a big pile of money cannot make a bad candidate more attractive to voters.

Gates has no professional, educational or life experiences that would qualify him for a seat on the commission that has regulatory jurisdiction over the state’s oil and gas industry. As we have previously written, Gates merely wants to hold office but has been rejected in every single effort.

The Texas Tribune reports Gates spent $1.9 million in the race, which resulted in getting 28 percent of the vote. Compare that to the fellow he faces in the GOP’s late-May run-off election.

Wayne Christian had someone with the same last name on the ballot, yet received 20 percent of the vote after spending just $40,842.

Gates spent $3.27 per vote, while Christian spent 10 cents.

And none of that includes the millions Gates has spent over the last year creating an astroturf group (Texas Citizens Coalition) designed with the singular purpose of building in-roads with the coalition of Democrats and liberal Republicans he hopes will one day invite him to their Austin parties.

Gates’ chief campaign adviser is disgraced State Rep. Jim Keffer (R-Eastland). Knowing he was doomed to being trounced in a re-election bid, Keffer retired and recruited one of his cronies to run in his place. Keffer’s crony was beaten badly on Tuesday, including a 60-40 whomping in Keffer’s home county. (Meanwhile, Gates came in third in Keffer’s home county.)

Gates’ recklessly ineffective spending is further evidence he would be a train wreck on the Texas Railroad Commission.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and an Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, and think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, a son-in-law, and a dog. Michael is the author of three books, including "Reflections on Life and Liberty."


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