Texas GOP picks Sitton as railroad commissioner

Ryan Sitton

AUSTIN (AP) — Oil engineer Ryan Sitton has overcome a big deficit in the March primary to win a runoff for the Republican nomination for railroad commissioner.

Sitton is the CEO of energy consultant PinnacleAIS and has never held elected office. He trailed former Texas House lawmaker Wayne Christian by 12 points after the primary and focused his campaign on being the only candidate with experience in the energy sector.

The railroad commissioner is the state’s chief energy regulator.

Christian was backed by tea party-aligned groups and played up praise from U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s father.

Sitton will face Democrat Steve Brown in November. The winner will replace Barry Smitherman, who lost a bid to move up the GOP political ladder by finishing last in the primary race for attorney general.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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