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Merritt Gets Primary Opponent's Support for Ag Commissioner

Joe Cotten, a financial adviser from Dallas who ran in the Republican primary for agriculture commissioner in May, has endorsed former state Rep. Tommy Merritt of Longview over former state Rep. Sid Miller for the runoff election.

Former state Reps. Tommy Merritt and Sid Miller, Republican candidates in runoff for agriculture commissioner.

Joe Cotten, a financial adviser from Dallas who ran in the Republican primary for agriculture commissioner in May, has endorsed former state Rep. Tommy Merritt of Longview over former state Rep. Sid Miller for the runoff election.

Miller and Merritt will face off at the end of May. 

During the primary, Cotten came in fourth out of the five Republican candidates. He made a surprisingly strong showing, earning just under 15 percent of the vote ahead of Uvalde Mayor and farmer J Allen Carnes, who was backed by many of the state's agricultural lobbiyng groups. 

"My core values guide me to support a candidate who possesses the most integrity, superior character and exhibits the most ethical behavior, as these are paramount in selecting the best candidate," Cotten said in a statement. He cited allegations of ethics violations by Miller, including claims that he had used campaign funds for personal profit, as the reasons behind his decision to endorse Merritt. 

Miller received almost 35 percent of the vote to Merritt's 21 percent in the March 4 primary. 

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