Fort Worth’s Lon Burnam joins race for open Railroad Commission seat

Former state Rep. Lon Burnam, a Fort Worth Democrat, said Sunday that he has filed to run for a seat on the Texas Railroad Commission, the state agency that regulates oil and gas development. 

“I think it’s really important that we have a progressive voice in this Railroad Commission race, and I think it’s very important we end one party rule in this state,” Burnam said. 

Burnam represented House District 90 beginning in 1997; he ran for reelection in 2014 but was defeated in the Democratic primary by the current occupant of the seat, state Rep. Ramon Romero, D-Fort Worth. 

He joins what could become a crowded field of mostly Republicans in the race. After current Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter surprised many Thursday by dropping his re-election bid, several Republicans indicated they may run, including former Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, state Rep. Jim Keffer, R-Eastland, state Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, and former state Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center. 

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Two other Republicans, attorney and lobbyist John Greytok and Gary Gates, a wealthy real estate agent and cattle rancher, are already seeking the seat. 

The filing deadline for the March 1 primaries is Monday. 

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at