After the FBI searched the US house in search of three of the state's most experienced politicians, bad news arrived in the Central Texas region. This news came at a critical stage of the election, and it has put the incumbent candidates in a difficult situation. Todd Smith, one of the top advisors and longtime consultant to Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, a Republican, was indicted for soliciting bribes from Miller's agency to obtain hemp licenses. In Laredo, the FBI invaded the home of American Henry Cuellar, a Democrat, as part of an inexplicable investigation.
The timing of these events has put Miller, Cuellar and Paxton in trouble. Texans begin voting early in this year's primary on Valentine's Day, and March 1 is election day. This short schedule has made it difficult for these candidates to respond to their legal issues before the election. If they survive this first round, all three incumbent candidates will face new candidates in the November general elections.
Five Democrats and one Libertarian are running for Attorney General; two Democrats are running for Commissioner of Agriculture. The ethical questions pending at the start of an election have been a source of food for opponents and detractors. However, for Texas politicians, responding to disasters can mean a positive change of subject from political struggles in an election year. An adverse weather system swept across Texas this week, dropping tornadoes, hail, wind and rain in the central and southeastern parts of the state before moving east to cause more damage in Louisiana.
Kirk Watson is one of the most experienced politicians in Central Texas. He has been in office for several terms and is known for doing great things. In a world where the default view of politicians is pessimistic, Kirk Watson is a notable exception. He is much closer to Israel ideologically, but his length of term in Central Texas has made him a symbol of the old guard.