The San Antonio Express-News’ Peggy Fikac reported that Rep. Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio) plans to file legislation that would give the governor the authority to appoint several offices currently elected statewide:
- Commissioner of Agriculture
- Commissioner of the General Land Office; and
- A new commissioner of energy, which would replace the three Railroad Commissioners.
In the late 1940s, the Texas Legislature replaced the elective office of State Superintendent of Public Education with the appointed Commissioner of Education. This is the most recent such change that we are aware of. The last statewide elected office removed from the ballot in Texas was the State Treasurer. In 1995, voters approved a constitutional amendment abolishing the office and transferring its responsibilities to the comptroller’s office. A year earlier, voters elected Martha Whitehead to the position after she campaigned to abolish the office.