2022 Runoff Election ResultsElections 2022Statewide NewsWayne Christian Comfortably Wins Railroad Commission Runoff Over Challenger Sarah Stogner

In the end, the last-minute $2 million television buy was not enough to make Stogner competitive on election night.
May 24, 2022
Incumbent Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian not only survived his primary runoff challenge but won comfortably over Sarah Stogner.

“It has been the honor of my life to serve as our state’s 50th Railroad Commissioner. I am thankful to Texas Republicans for re-nominating me for this vital office. I look forward to continue fighting for cheap, plentiful, reliable energy, as we stand up to the Biden Administration’s radical liberal agenda,” Christian told The Texan on election night.

In a tweet posted after the results came out, Stogner wrote, “It’s a marathon not a sprint. Thank you to the tribe.” She also called for the name of the agency to be changed, as it no longer primarily focuses on regulating railroads.

Despite a last-minute $2 million television ad buy, Stogner failed to upset the incumbent in her weird and wild bid for the state agency tasked with regulating the oil and gas industry.

In the primary, Christian fell just short of avoiding a runoff and Stogner narrowly edged third-place finisher Tom Slocum by less than one percent.

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The race has been the wildest in the state — marked by a nearly-nude early voting video, a tragic death, and a plethora of rhetorical bombs lobbed at the incumbent.

Christian will now move on to November where Democrat Luke Warford awaits. In 2020, progressives threw the kitchen sink at the Railroad Commission race hoping to win their first statewide election since the mid-90s. Billionaire Michael Bloomberg threw $2.5 million behind then-Democratic candidate Chrysta Castañeda, who ultimately lost by a wide margin.

Warford, a former Texas Democratic Party staffer, has tried to avoid jumping headlong into the progressive environmentalism with which the national party apparatus has become increasingly aligned. When Warford entered the race last year, that environmental wing rinsed and repeated its same overview of the race from two years ago with Castañeda’s candidacy.

But Warford so far has focused heavily on reforming the power grid and calling for more renewable energy investment, while stopping short of advocating the elimination of the fossil fuel industry.

Because of the position’s obscurity to the average voter, the Railroad Commission has seen upsets before. But that didn’t happen tonight, and Republicans, along with the oil and gas industry at large, will be hellbent on preventing Democrats from making this their first statewide victory in nearly three decades.


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Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson is a senior reporter for The Texan and an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.