Candidates for the Railroad Commission are traversing the state, vying to fill the slot that Gov. Rick Perry recently plugged with the appointment of Buddy Garcia, formerly of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, who’s not on the ballot, but will serve through the end of the year. And there’s also Barry Smitherman’s defense of his appointment to that commission.

But environmentalists are watching many races lower on the ballot. Among them: Rep. Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth, who has recently been outspoken about the nuclear waste dump being built in West Texas and who faces a serious challenger in Carlos Vasquez; state Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, who faces a fierce challenge from former Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones; and Dr. Donna Campbell of New Braunfels.

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