Johnson County cattle farmer Jim Hogan is one of three Democrats filed to run for Texas agriculture commissioner. The other two Democrats are Kinky Friedman of Austin and Hugh Asa Fitzsimons III of Carrizo Springs.
But the race to replace incumbent Todd Staples, a Republican who is running for Texas lieutenant governor, is crowded. Five Republicans will be facing off against each other in the GOP primary, and there is one Green Party candidate and two Libertarians in the race.
But Hogan said this week, out of all the candidates in the race, he is the only one ready and willing to work at the job of agriculture commissioner, not just hold the office.
“I have been studying this office for six years” in preparation for running for ag commissioner, Hogan said. “You’ve got to be prepared if you’re going to do a job. You’ve got to know what you’re talking about.”
Listing off the names of Deputy Commissioner Drew DeBerry and Chief of Staff Shannon Rusing, Hogan said, “Those are the ones who actually do the work. If you’re elected agriculture commissioner and really want to do a good job, then those are the ones you need to get to know and they are the ones you need to listen to. They have been there the longest and they know what’s going on.”
Hogan said he would also travel to each of the office’s regional divisions and field offices, getting to know the staff at each one and listening to their ideas and advice.
“I would work with the staff, not just run over them,” he said.
Hogan said he believes most people don’t understand what the Texas Department of Agriculture does and how it affects their lives.
“It’s about food and about the people who provide it,” Hogan said. “But it’s not just about the farmers and the ranchers. It’s about you. It’s about your food and where it comes from.”