April 07, 2008
Overview of Railroad Commissioner runoff

If you can call it that - there's not much to or in this article.

Henry had a career as a petroleum engineer, working in this country and the Middle East for several oil-drilling and field-service companies. He also worked as a private contractor for the Texas Railroad Commission in plugging and filling abandoned wells.

Henry won election as a Mills County Commissioner as a Republican, and he first ran for the railroad commission in the 2004 GOP primary. Henry won the Democratic railroad commission nomination in 2006, losing the general election with 42 percent of the vote.

In this campaign, Henry has focused on the need to clean up environmental problems caused by oil drilling and abandoned wells. His special concern is oil-field pollution of groundwater.

Thompson is an orientation and mobility teacher for the blind. He was a commissioned peace officer for eight years in the 1990s, serving two years as an Austin park police officer and then three years with the State Capitol police.

Thompson has been urging the commission to be more aggressive in forcing natural gas companies to replace aging compression couplings whose failure has caused gas explosions in homes. He also has focused attention on oil-well waste being pumped into the ground with injection wells.

That's the meat of it. There's some stuff there about Thompson's failure to vote in a general election since 1996 (he did vote in the Democratic primary and runoff in 2006) and Henry's previous runs for office as a Republican. I've said elsewhere that such "issues" generally don't interest me much, and that's the case here as well. Any objective review of the race and the hopefuls will lead to the conclusion that Dale Henry is the better and more qualified candidate, so I see no need to get distracted by lesser matters.

If you do want more information, RG Ratcliffe did podcast interviews with both Henry and Thompson for the March 4 primary - Henry's is here and Thompson's is here. And remember to vote tomorrow - for Dale Henry - if you haven't already. It's another one of those low-turnout affairs, so your vote carries more weight than usual.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 07, 2008 to Election 2008