Railroad Commission candidate who posted semi-nude campaign video explains why she did it

Sarah Stogner rides a pumpjack somewhere in West Texas.
Sarah Stogner rides a pumpjack somewhere in West Texas.(Sarah Stogner)
Published: Feb. 16, 2022 at 11:12 PM CST
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - Railroad Commissioner is one of Texas’ most important elected offices. Yet, not many people know what it is or what it does.

That’s the impetus behind Republican candidate Sarah Stogner baring it all to bring attention to the upcoming primary.

Stogner isn’t some fringe candidate. She’s recently polled as high as second place.

In a five-second video with a series of quick cuts, Stogner is seen topless, riding a pumpjack in her underwear while music plays.

The purpose of the video? To get more people talking about the March 1 primary.

“I’ve been jumping up and down for years,” Stogner said. “Trying to do it the traditional way of being nice and proper, wearing my Sunday School dress, and saying would Jesus want us to let our groundwater be polluted, and no one seemed to listen or care.”

They’re listening now. The video, posted initially to Tik Tok, has amassed close to 60,000 views on Twitter.

Stogner’s campaign is run almost entirely through social media and groundwork rather than donations. She harps on reigning in oil company donations to the RRC, cleaning up West Texas’ water, and giving landowners more say in the oil and gas operations.

“Here’s the naked truth, guys,” Stogner, the lone female candidate, said. “We’ve got some very uncomfortable things we need to talk about. Now that I’ve got your attention, let’s get dressed and get to work.”

While she says the video has gotten a mostly positive response and increased the number of people asking her about the election, she’s also received backlash.

Stogner received the endorsement of the San Antonio Express-News, Texas’ 4th largest newspaper, but the publication withdrew its endorsement after the video surfaced.

“I’m doing things differently and getting things done, and that’s a threat to the status quo,” she said.

Her methods are undoubtedly unorthodox. In her own words, she’s a “unicorn”. So, knowing what she knows now, would she do it again?

“Absolutely,” she said.

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