One candidate running for Texas Land Commissioner is hoping to bring the perspective of an "average Texan" to the complex issues facing the historic Alamo landmark in San Antonio.
Matt Piña, the Libertarian nominee for Texas Land Commissioner, is running for the state's top land management job in hopes of restoring transparency to the department. Currently chaired by Republican George P. Bush, the Texas General Land Office is in charge of the maintenance and management of Texas lands. Other duties held by the department include overseeing the Permanent School Fund and assisting on disaster recovery.
While Piña has a focus on many issues facing the Texas General Land Office, the Alamo landmark has a special place in the Libertarian's heart. As a native of San Antonio, Piña believes that the landmark has not been managed correctly by Commissioner Bush's administration, and hopes to fix what he sees as a broken management process.
"It just seems like Commissioner Bush bit off more than he could chew," Pina said.
The Libertarian believes that the management of the site under Bush's administration has not been adequate for the Alamo and that, if elected, he will use a representative's approach for the historic site.
"When you're a representative, you have to be humble enough to admit when you made a mistake," Piña said.
If elected, Piña hopes to work with the former caretakers of the site, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, to ensure that the site is adequately maintained. Piña also hopes to ensure the site is being managed in a way that is more transparent than the current administration.
"I try not to be negative, but as far as management, the transparency has been pretty poor," Piña said. "Unless people get very vocal, they have just been blatantly ignored."
Piña also hopes to assist those still recovering from the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey. The Libertarian says while local government assistance with rebuilding has been strong, he does not believe the state has done its part in making sure that coastal areas impacted by the storm are recovering.
"While a lot of the local government has done a fantastic job of rebuilding, many people are still crying out for help," Piña said.
Facing an uphill climb, the Libertarian feels undeterred. Piña feels confident that while he is facing an incumbent with heavy name recognition, his plan will be the best for Texans looking for a change from career politicians in Austin.
"The current holder has done a pretty good job of hiding what's actually been going on," Piña said. "I'll be out there, if I'm elected, working with people so they can have a commissioner they can trust."
Piña is facing Republican George P. Bush and Democrat Miguel Suazo in the November general election.
For more information about Matt Piña, please visit www.mattpina.com.