The Texas Farm Bureau, one of the state's largest and most powerful agricultural lobbying organizations, will not be endorsing a candidate for agriculture commissioner in May's runoff election.
Spokesman Gene Hall said this is the first time the organization has declined to throw its support behind any candidate. The Farm Bureau had endorsed Uvalde Mayor and farmer J Allen Carnes, but he came in last out of five Republican candidates running for the position in the March primary. The top two Republican vote-getters, former state Reps. Tommy Merritt and Sid Miller, will face off in the May Republican runoff, as will Democrats Kinky Friedman and Jim Hogan.
Carnes had made a point of focusing on agriculture-related issues, rather than social issues like abortion, during his campaign. That drew praise from the Farm Bureau but did not prove to be a winning strategy during the primaries.
"I never thought I'd see the day where a sonogram bill factors in an ag commissioner race," Hall said of an abortion bill that Miller authored in 2011 and has been promoting on the campaign trail.
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