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Commissioner of the General Land Office

Four-year term. Must be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen, and a Texas resident for at least 12 months. Among duties: management of state lands and mineral-right properties totaling 20.3 million acres and providing revenues for the Permanent School Fund; repository of state land documents; responsible for the prevention of and response to oil spills that occur on “submerged” lands out to 10.3 miles in the Gulf of Mexico. The Commissioner also serves as a chairman of seven state boards, including the School Land Board, the Veterans Land Board, and the Coastal Coordination Council. Current annual salary: $137,500Plazo de cuatro años. Debe tener por lo menos 18 años de edad, ser ciudadano de Estados Unidos y residente de Texas por lo menos por 12 meses. Deberes: administra las tierras y los derechos minerales de propiedades que son un total de 20.3 millones de acres y pro­porciona ingresos para el Fondo permanente escolar; administra el repositorio de documentos de tierras estatales; es responsable de la prevención y respuesta a derrames de petróleo en tierras “sumergidas” a 10.3 millas de la costa en el Golfo de México. El Comisionado también tiene la función de ser el director de siete Mesas directivas, las cuales incluyen la Directiva de las tierras escolares, la Directiva de las tierras de veteranos y el Consejo de la coordinación de la costa. Salario anual actual: $137,500
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    George P. Bush (Rep) Texas Land Commissioner

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    Davey Edwards (Rep) Land Surveyor

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    Tex Morgan (Dem)

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    Jerry Patterson (Rep) Retired Marine, retired Texas Land Commissioner

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    Rick Range (Rep) Retired Firefighter and Teacher

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    Miguel Suazo (Dem) Energy and Natural Resources Attorney

Change Candidates

Biographical Information

Background: What training, experience, and characteristics qualify you for this position?

Coastal planning: What specific short-term and long-term measures would you implement to restore and protect the coast, wetlands, and built environment to minimize damage from major storms?

Coastal planning: How do you address the concerns of developers and homeowners who want to build in these coastal areas?

What other issues do you consider the most important, and how would you address them?

I have run a conservative and efficient Land Office. I am saving taxpayer money while putting more money in the Public School Fund than ever before. The GLO has been a government office that works for the people during my first term.
The restoration of McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge in Jefferson County is one example of what we are trying to do on the coast. Restoration to this area provides critical protection to Port Arthur and the oil and gas infrastructure of the state. The GLO, along with its partners, has identified approximately 60 similar, high priority projects.
I have long advocated for the construction of a coastal barrier. This system, often referred to as the "Ike Dyke," would protect vital assets already in place, as well as encourage future, responsible development in these coastal areas. I would recommend the expansion of the existing levee systems in Port Arthur and Freeport along with a new levee system in Orange County.
Continuing Hurricane Harvey relief – The Texas coast was devastated by Harvey last fall and we need to continue to fight for those affected. Helping Veterans–Ensuring that veterans have access to services they need is a top priority for my administration. Saving the Alamo-My objective is to save the Alamo so that we can tell the heroic story of the battle better than ever.
Campaign Phone (940) 627-2961
Twitter @_D4TX
Education BS Biomedical Science at Texas A&M MS Geospatial Surveying Engineering at Texas A&M PhD Geoscience at University of Texas
Professional Land Surveyor in Texas & Oklahoma. Texas licensed state land surveyor and US Federal land surveyor. Masters & Doctorate degree in land administration systems. Applicable experience working with the Texas General Land Office.
Short-term would be to continue to provide beach replenishment and maintenance programs. Long-term would be to research plans that are being implemented in other areas of the world that have already or had coastal erosion issues.
This is the same issue as developing in Flood zone areas throughout Texas. There is a certain risk the developer takes on when building in these areas that natural events cannot be predicted or changed.
Bringing back experienced and knowledgeable staff that was eliminated in the early term of the current commissioner during the GLO "reboot" program. This will make the GLO more efficient and effective to all the stewardships of the agency.
I hold 2 BS degrees & a MBA. I’ve served as a chief engineer, CEO, & transit trustee. I’ve a business & engineering background; no-nonsense attitude; Eagle Scout; no conflicts of interest. I’m beholden solely to the people of Texas, where I grew up.
1st-efficiently restore destroyed properties, building up & bright, or buying out (Harvey victims still homeless!) 2nd-abate destroying & reclaim wetlands, marshes, prairielands & floodplains. Build Coastal Spine & curved sea walls to cut storm surge. Restore, add, & expand dunes, beaches, groynes, Attack dead zones with water mega-pumps. Engineer & oblige porous parcels.
Adopt & enforce clear best-practice standards to guide building & rebuilding. Update models & map 500/1000-year storm projections. Limit types of structures/development in protected areas. Publicize global warming effects. Build up, back & bright; require permeable, porous, & containment's. Hold inclusive Coastal Summit. Reverse harmful insurance practices. Unclog funds.
1-Conserve our sacred Alamo & holdings, don’t squander a half-billion $ on redoing its surroundings. 2-Responsible to our Veterans, our GLO’ll better communicate & deploy state land, housing & home-improvement loan programs. 3-Permanent School Fund-it must reap more for better schools, to defray local taxes. 4-A Bipartisan Redistricting Board! 5-More transparency!
Campaign Phone (512) 740-5650
Twitter @Patterson4TX
Education BA, History Texas A&M '69
Retired Marine Vietnam veteran. Texas Senator 1993-1999, author Texas concealed handgun law, sponsor Home Equity Lending property rights constitutional amendment, co author Texas Coastal Management Plan. Texas Land Commissioner 2003-2015.
A federally funded coastal barrier system such as the "Ike Dike" should be undertaken to protect the Galveston bay complex and the industries associated with it. Coastal development in eroding areas should be restricted in those areas of high rates of erosion, and habitat for coastal species should be enhanced and preserved in bays and estuaries.
Building on coastal areas with high rates of erosion is folly. Its a simple math problem. If you have a thirty year mortgage, and the beach is eroding at a rate of over 5 feet per year, it can easily be calculated when your structure will be on the public beach or on the state owned wet beach and have zero value.
Restoring confidence and transparency in the management and finances at the Alamo which is now managed by the GLO. Restoring the Disaster Recovery division of the GLO, which is responsible for temporary emergency housing for Hurricane Harvey victims, to the professionalism and level of competence that existed during Hurricanes Ike and Dolly.
Campaign Phone (214) 881-2764
Twitter @savethealamotx
Education B.M.E from West Texas State University in Canyon
My 31-years as a first responder serves in reacting to natural disasters and veterans’ affairs. Teaching and oil and gas experience allows a perspective to conduct leasing and grow the school fund. 20+ years of Alamo research supports restoration.
Short-term: restoration from Harvey. GLO must assist storm victims in repairing their property. Long-term: strengthen structural requirements, Wetlands are endangered species habitats. New retainers, barriers, and drainage routes must be balanced with preserving the natural environment.
Building in flood-prone coastal areas is neither practical or prudent. It is unfair to expect all state taxpayers to pay for the inevitable results of ill-advised future developments. Retainers and drainages can be constructed, building codes strengthened, and developments planned using such protective measures, but the bottom line is another Harvey will come.
The other most urgent issue facing the GLO is the Alamo restoration in accordance with the Alamo Preservation Bill (HB 2968) passed and funded by the Texas Legislature in 2015. The structures need immediate attention. Then the original footprint of the 1836 battle can be recaptured, followed by a world-class museum to exhibit artifacts.
Campaign Phone (903) 420-0621
Twitter @MrMiguelSuazo
Education New Mexico Military Institute Georgetown University The University of New Mexico School of Law
I am the most qualified and experienced person on the ballot with a proven record of success. I actually work on issues related to the GLO and have for over 15 years. I am a proven leader and can bring in groups Democrats need to turn TX blue in 2018
Short term, we need to care for those devastated by Harvey. Simultaneously, we must identify the projects that will most protect the coast. Protect estuaries, guard against encroachment of fresh and brackish water. Restoring oyster habitats, preventing brackish water invasion of fresh water habitats, combating invasive species, building berms and sand dunes.
Balancing the needs of nature, the public, and businesses has been a central component of my career. Having a vibrant coast is essential for tourism and for the enjoyment of the public. However, development must take into account environmental impacts. Raising the education level of where, how, and what to build is essential.
The most critical issue facing the next Land Commissioner is that of leadership. The Land Commissioner must elevate the profile of the key issues Texans face and educate the public and other elected officials about the importance of the issues dealt with by the GLO. This requires setting critical priorities and focusing relentlessly on those priorities each and every day.