East Texas Republican Enters Race for Land Commissioner

East Texas businessman David Watts announced on Tuesday that he filed to run as a Republican for Texas land commissioner.

Current commissioner Jerry Patterson is leaving the post and is one of four Republicans running for lieutenant governor. The filing sets up a likely GOP primary match between Watts and George P. Bush. Former El Paso Mayor John Cook is the only Democrat in the race so far.

Watts says he is the “next generation of conservative leadership” and accuses the federal Environmental Protection Agency of being a bloated, out-of-touch agency.

“Simply put: while the EPA seeks more and more control over our lives, our ability to influence the EPA is almost non-existent,” he claims on his website. If elected, he says, he would work closely with the Texas attorney general “to forcefully oppose such outside interference using every legitimate legal option.”

Born in Alabama, Watts also studied and lived in Kentucky, where he ran unsuccessfully for state representative. He is also a teacher and minister, according to the biography on his campaign site.

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