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Dewhurst, Not Staples, Earns Texas Farm Bureau Nod

The Texas Farm Bureau endorsed Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in his bid for re-election Monday, casting lots in a four-way Republican primary that includes current agriculture commissioner Todd Staples.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst explains the gallery rules for the second special session as Senate Parliamentarian Karina Davis listens on July 1, 2013.

Todd Staples might have been the natural pick for the Texas Farm Bureau's endorsement in the four-way Republican primary race for lieutenant governor.

AGFUND has made $85,000 in political contributions to Staples, who is currently the state's agriculture commissioner, since 2010 — making it among the candidate's top donors as of July financial filings, the most recently available. But in his bid for lite guv, it appears the group's support for Staples has become a casualty of the friendly incumbent rule. The state agricultural association gave its nod Monday to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst over Staples, who is one of three sitting elected officials challenging Dewhurst in the March primary.

"It is true that we always supported Todd Staples as ag commissioner but he's running for lieutenant governor now," said spokesman Gene Hall. "[Dewhurst] has been a real champion for our issues and certainly there was no reason to not endorse him in a job that he's done well."

In particular, Hall cited the incumbent's support for eminent domain legislation that he said might not have passed if not for his leadership in the state Senate.

"Sooner or later if you do this, you are going to be choosing among friends," he said.

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