Buckingham finished with about 69 percent of the vote compared to Westley’s 31 percent.
The Central Texas senator emerged from a crowded field of candidates as the clear party favorite, enjoying strong advantages over Westley in both endorsements and fundraising. Although Westley did snag the endorsement of former Texas GOP Chairman Allen West, who appointed him to his role as party historian, Buckingham marshaled a broad array of support from political figures across the Republican spectrum, including her former opponents.
Buckingham will face Democrat nominee and King Ranch scion Jay Kleberg in the general election for land commissioner. Since Republicans have maintained control of every statewide office for the past several years, a trend unlikely to change in light of the state’s current partisan leaning, Buckingham will likely win in November.
The land commissioner runs the General Land Office (GLO), the oldest state agency in Texas. Founded when Texas was a burgeoning republic, the office is responsible for managing public land owned by the state. The revenue from GLO land leases goes to the Texas Permanent School Fund.
The office also responds to disasters, offers loans and other services to Texas veterans, preserves natural environments, and manages the Alamo.
Although the Alamo occupies less than a square mile of land, it affected public perception of Bush’s job performance as land commissioner and remained a top issue in the Republican primary to replace him. Buckingham and Westley both touted their own contributions to efforts against historical revisionism of the Alamo project.
Buckingham has said she will prioritize border security as land commissioner and continue building the border wall Bush began on public land. She also promised to maintain oil and gas leases that currently contribute to much of the Permanent School Fund.
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