Facing two Republican competitors, Miller said his previous races were a tougher fight. He prepared for election day by making appearances before election season at stock shows, bull sales, and other events.
“Each one gets a little easier,” Miller said shortly before results solidified.
“This one, just because I campaigned all across the state, just seemed a lot easier. I never quit campaigning. I go all the time, all over the state. When it’s not campaign season, immediate campaign season, I try to make all the small counties, rural areas, get out to see them.”
In 2014, Miller won a runoff election with 54 percent of the vote after leading the primary with 34.6 percent. He avoided a runoff in 2018, handily snagging just under 56 percent of the vote.
State Rep. James White (R-Hillister) was Miller’s strongest challenger this year at 31 percent. White enjoyed a strong home-field advantage, taking several East Texas counties in the region he represents in the Texas House.
Economics professor Carey Counsil took third place with about 10 percent.
In the general election, Miller will face attorney Susan Hays, who dominated the Democratic primary with over 80 percent of the vote.
“She’s the polar opposite from what I stand for,” Miller said of Hays.
“She’s an abortion rights lawyer, pro-cannabis attorney, recreational marijuana. We don’t see eye to eye on anything.”
When asked about what problems are the top priorities for the TDA in the near future, Miller said inflation and Biden administration initiatives against fossil fuels have raised costs across the agriculture industry, from fertilizer to machine parts.
Miller said he will look to build another livestock export facility in addition to the projects in Del Rio and Fort Worth to sell cattle overseas. He also mentioned plans to renovate Fair Park in Dallas, hoping to turn it “from a three-day venue to a 365-day venue,” alongside developing fairgrounds in East Texas and North Texas.
Most of these projects, Miller says, funnel into the primary goal of getting youth involved in agriculture.
Miller faced criticism from both Counsil and White over the indictment of one of his top political consultants.
White also accused Miller of fiscal irresponsibility — specifically targeting Miller’s decision to raise fees on farmers and other licensees — which he says made Miller’s lawsuit on behalf of white Texas farmers hypocritical.
In April, Miller sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture in his private capacity as a rancher, claiming that a provision of the American Rescue Plan Act violated the Constitution by denying aid to white farmers.
Unlike other statewide incumbents, Miller actively campaigned against Abbott, making him one of the few incumbents to find favor among grassroots conservative groups.
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