Texas GOP Picks Sitton As Railroad Commissioner

AUSTIN – Oil and gas technology executive Ryan Sitton handily beat former state Rep. Wayne Christian in Tuesday’s Republican runoff for a spot on the three-man Railroad Commission of Texas.

The Associated Press declared Sitton the winner about 8:15 p.m.

Reached for comment Tuesday evening, Sitton said he believes his runoff win shows Texas voters want the regulatory board to include members with experience in the industries they oversee. The commission regulates the oil and gas industry, as well surface mining and reclamation and natural gas and pipeline safety.

“The energy industry has been a huge success for Texas, and I think voters are looking for people to be put into these roles with real expertise,” Sitton told the Chronicle. Members of the Christian campaign said he would be issuing a statement later Tuesday evening.

The runoff result was an about-face from March, when Christian was the top vote-getter by a wide margin. Sitton will face former Fort Bend County Democrats Chairman Steve Brown in the November general election.