The following is a compilation of the unedited responses from Richard Carpenter, Libertarian candidate for Texas Agriculture Commissioner, to the 2018 Amarillo Pioneer Voter Guide Questionnaire. Carpenter is running against Democrat Kim Olson and Republican incumbent Sid Miller in the November election.
Commissioner of Agriculture
Please list any of your political, civic or non-profit experience.
I worked on the staff of a congressional candidate and consulted with others after college. No other civic or non-profit experience.
What is your educational background?
College, B.A. degree. Some graduate level courses in business.
Why did you decide to run for agriculture commissioner?
I am greatly concerned about the effect of climate warming on agriculture in the west half of Texas over the next 25 years. Farmers and ranchers in that part of the state will not have enough water to survive. Our population will almost double in 25 years. How will we feed the next generation of Texans? We have to plan and prepare for using the water from brackish aquifers for agriculture.
What experience do you have that qualifies you for this position?
I worked for a farmers cooperative for 5+ years. Eleven years as an Air Force officer. I have owned and operated several small businesses.
What should the Agriculture Commissioner's role be in advocating for farmers and ranchers in Texas?
Ranchers and farmers need the Ag Commissioner to push their agenda with state officials. The office should be supporting agriculture producers, and not telling them what to do.
Are there any services currently offered by the Texas Department of Agriculture that you would like to see eliminated? Are there any services you would like to see added? If so, please list those services.
If a service is not directly related to agriculture in Texas, It should be eliminated or transferred.
Do you plan to advocate any issues to the Texas Legislature? If so, which issues?
Transfer $2.2 billion from the rainy day fund to a fund for water for agriculture in the west half of Texas. This will be for using the brackish aquifers of Texas for agriculture.
Are you supported by any political action committees? If so, which ones?
Do you have any aspirations for higher office?
Why should voters choose you in 2018?
I am looking 25 years down the road. I want Texas to plan and prepare for the next generation of Texans. I will do this each day I'm in that office.