Page 20


ILLUSTRATION ISTOCKPHOTO POUT CAL DEPT OF ELEIONS It’s CT Better to Be Silent and Thought a Fool… WATCH the two candidates’ Texas Tribune face-off at tx1o.corn/RRFaceoff POLITICIANS TALK A LOT, MAINLY ABOUT THEMSELVES and their opinions, and about how much better they are than their opponents. That makes David Porter, a Republican candidate for Texas Railroad Commission, a rare breed of political chameleon. His strategy: fade into the background and bank on GOP branding to carry him to victory on Election Day. There’s little doubt that the Democrat in the race, Jeff Weems, is the more qualified candidate. Weems is a lawyer specializing in oil and gas, the industries the commission oversees. He has a long history in the fieldand he’s the Democrats’ best hope for a statewide win outside the governor’s race. Weems has been endorsed by the Houston, Dallas and Austin dailies. “I need to continue garnering these endorsements,” he says. “The more attention that can be focused on this race, the better I do.” Weems has campaigned across the state, touting his qualifications and detailing the need for more inspectors to monitor industry. His opponent didn’t return phone calls from the Morning News editorial board. \(Porter didn’t return public accountant in Midland before he came out of nowhere to best sitting Commissioner Victor Carrillo in the March GOP primarya victory that Carrillo and some pundits attributed to Republican primary voters’ aversion to a Latino name. The Railroad Commission “should and can and probably should control air emissions from production equipment,” Porter said in the The Texas Tribune’s online “face-off” between the two candidates. It was one of his most declarative statements, but it was an opinion he and Weems sharethat the Railroad Commission, as opposed to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, should monitor emissions from oil and gas activity . When he offers opinions, Porter hardly ever disagrees with Weems. During the face-off, Porter was hesitant to say much, except that he has an open mindand few clear 2 1 THE TEXAS OBSERVER WWW.TEXASOBSERVER.ORG