Wayne Christian has resumed his campaign for Texas railroad commissioner, ending a hiatus that briefly shook up the Republican primary contest.  

“I’m totally in the running, been making calls, visits,” the Republican told The Texas Tribune late Thursday. “I’m excited to be in the race.”

Christian, a former state representative from Center, suspended his run late last month so he could focus attention on helping his 90-year-old mother transition to a nursing home.

“I had that first obligation,” he said. 

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His return to campaign mode is the latest twist in a topsy-turvy contest for David Porter’s seat on the Railroad Commission, which regulates oil and gas.

Porter dropped his re-election bid in a surprise announcement last month, spurring a gaggle of candidates — including Christian — to file for his seat just hours before the deadline.

The remaining Republicans in the contest include: longtime Austin attorney and lobbyist John Greytok; Gary Gates, a wealthy real estate agent and cattle rancher in Richmond; Ron Hale, an engineer who lives in Cypress; Weston Martinez, a Republican activist on the Texas Real Estate Commission; and Doug Jeffrey, a Vernon native who served in the U.S. Air Force. 

Voters could also pick another Christian: Railroad Commission geologist and political novice Lance Christian.

Wayne Christian’s name would have remained on the ballot even if he had terminated his campaign altogether because the deadline to officially withdraw from the race has long passed. 

On the Democratic side, former state Rep. Lon Burnam of Fort Worth will face Cody Garrett and Grady Yarbrough in the primary.