With Exception of Miller, Ag. Commission Race Full of Liberals

Press Releases / January 14, 2014


January 14, 2014

Contact: Jenna White, Executive Director
Mobile: (281) 460-8545
Email: [email protected]

AUSTIN, TX — A few months back, Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) issued an early endorsement for Former Rep. Sid Miller in his race for Texas Agriculture Commissioner. Today, YCT gives an in-depth look at several other contenders in the race.

In this packed political season, many veteran politicos and newcomers to the arena are attempting to re-brand themselves and create a false conservative facade to show Texas voters. This can be seen clearly in the race for Texas Ag. Commissioner.

Tommy Merritt

Former Rep. Tommy Merritt was consistently ranked amongst the most liberal Republicans in the Texas Legislature until conservative Rep. David Simpson defeated him—twice. Texans in his district rejected Merritt’s brand of liberalism; now the rest of the state has the chance.

During his time in the legislature, Merritt scored extremely low scores on YCT’s ratings of the Texas Legislature, earning scores in the 40s three times and a career score of 56.

Eric Opiela

Eric Opiela, the presumed runoff opponent of Sid Miller in the Republican primary, is no stranger to Republican politics. He is a twice-failed candidate for the Texas House, a former Republican Party of Texas staffer, and was a key player in the 2012 redistricting catastrophe that lost seats for Republicans and drew strong conservatives out of office.

Opiela was Executive Director of the Republican Party of Texas in the mid-2000s when Republicans came within one seat of losing the majority in the Texas House. He then decided to come to the aid of liberal Speaker Straus targeting strong conservatives across the state through the redistricting process.

Opiela has shown his true colors, authoring despicable emails about conservative and tea party activists—the same people he hopes will support him. Copies of these can be seen here on RedState. Now Opiela wants Texans to believe that instead of being a liberal Austin lawyer, he’s a born a bred rancher from South Texas.

J. Allen Carnes

While J. Allen Carnes is running on the Republican ticket, he is listed as a ‘Hard Democrat’ in the GOP Data Center. This is not surprising as 2012 was his first time voting in a Republican Primary.

In addition to helping Democrats with his votes, he has also donated to three Democratic Congressmen with GOP challengers, including most recently backing Congressman Gallego over former Congressman Canseco.

Carnes’ Campaign Treasurer, Janey Briscoe Marmion, the daughter of Democrat Governor Dolph Briscoe, is also a major donor to liberal candidates, the Texas Democratic Party and has direct ties to Battleground Texas.

“The choice in this race is clear. Sid Miller is the true conservative champion and real ag man in the race for Texas Agriculture Commissioner,” said YCT State Chairman, Jeff Morris. “With a lifelong history in agriculture from ranching and teaching vocational agriculture to his 9-time World Champion Cowboy buckles. Miller’s consistent conservative voting record in the Texas House and his tenure as Chairman of the Livestock and Agriculture committee show his solid commitment to the future of Texas Agriculture.”

Young Conservatives of Texas is a non-partisan organization that has promoted conservatism at universities across the Lone Star State for over three decades. The State’s most active political youth organization, YCT is composed of hundreds of members and alumni who participate in the full spectrum of politics. YCT issues the most respected ratings of the Texas legislature and is the only conservative group to have done so without interruption over the past 20 legislative sessions. For more information about YCT, please visit 


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