Governor Perry appointed Barry Smitherman to the Texas Railroad Commission for a term to expire at the next general election in 2012. He fills the unexpired term of former Commissioner Michael Williams who is running for one of the newly created congressional seats. Smitherman previously served as chairman of the Texas Public Utility Commission (PUC).
Bryan entrepreneur Rebecca Boenigk has announced that she will run in the special election contest in House District 14. The winner will replace retiring Rep. Fred Brown (R-Bryan). Other candidates include former Brazos County Tax Assessor-Collector Buddy Winn and Aggieland Bookstore founder John Raney. No Democrats have announced their intent to run for the seat.
Matt Schaefer of Tyler announced that he will run for House District 6, currently represented by Rep. Leo Berman (R-Tyler). Schaefer is a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy Reserve and has recently returned from a tour in Afghanistan. He has served as the East Texas Regional Director for U.S. Senator John Cornyn.
U.S. Congressman Ron Paul announced that he will not seek reelection to his Congressional District 14 seat so that he can focus his energies on his campaign for president. Paul will serve out his term through December of 2012.