Sparks win sends oil and gas man to Austin

Editor’s note: This is the first of two stories about Kevin Sparks’ victory in the Republican primary.

“We are thrilled to have a true oil and gas leader in Senate District 31.”

That was a comment by PBPA executive director Ben Shepperd to the Reporter-Telegram about Kevin Sparks’ victory in the Republican primary for the Texas Senate District 31 seat.

On Wednesday, the news became official. Sparks received 54.84% of 46,132 votes in the 45-county district, according to the secretary of state’s office. Eclipsing 50% helped Sparks avoid a runoff.

On Tuesday night, the Sparks camp thought he was likely to avoid a runoff, but the remaining votes put him over the top. Sparks garnered 24,776 votes. Amarillo’s Tim Reid finished second with 9,026 (22.78% of the vote). Big Spring’s Stormy Bradley finished third with 6,979 (16.31%).

The theme of appointing an oil and gas expert to the Legislature — and that Kevin Sparks was likely that person — began in September when Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick told the Permian annual meeting Basin Petroleum Association that what was missing in the Texas Senate is a senator who is an expert in oil and gas operations.

“We have doctors, we have too many lawyers … but we don’t really have any oil men or women,” Patrick said last fall.

Oil and gas are important to the state economy, to the state budget, and to the amount of money held in the state reserve fund, sometimes called the “rainy day fund.” “. Shepperd said in an email Wednesday that Sparks’ presence there would be helpful.

“In these trying times, we really need someone with his knowledge and experience to help lead Texas into the future,” Shepperd said.

Don Sparks said on Wednesday from his North Midland office at Discovery Operating that oil and gas is an area where the legislature needed expertise, but the campaign was also about acknowledging that agriculture was also important. Combine the money that goes into the coffers because oil, gas, livestock, cotton and dairy and elder Sparks said District 31’s impact could be closer to 40% of the budget of the state. “Commodity control” is how Sparks described it.

“These go up and down, and if you don’t have experience, you don’t survive,” Don Sparks said.

Don Sparks said his son will use his time before taking the seat to work with other lawmakers, businesspeople and leaders to unify the district and show what impact ‘40%’ can have on the legislative plan.

Sparks said in a statement that he was committed “to fighting Joe Biden’s relentless attacks on the energy industry that is the lifeblood of so many in our district and our nation.”

Coming in an upcoming edition: Sparks gives Midland something it hasn’t enjoyed in a while: a winner of a regional seat.

Sparks declaration of victory

“Last night was a victory for the conservative majority in West Texas. Our victory belongs to the great people of Senate District 31 – from Amarillo to Midland and Odessa; we met so many old friends and got together. made new friends on this fantastic campaign trip. I want to thank you all for your support, prayers and hard work.

“I ran for the State Senate to give the conservative West Texans majority a voice in Austin. I am ready to come to the State Capitol to fight for the conservative principles that I know we share – our commitment to the life and protection of the unborn child, our commitment to the Second Amendment and our commitment to securing our frontier.

“I believe in the 10th Amendment and limited government. I pledge to fight against Joe Biden’s relentless attacks on the energy industry that is the lifeblood of so many in our district and our country.

“I will defend our freedoms and oppose any effort to impose vaccination or mask mandates, and I will fight to strengthen the rights of every parent so you can know what is happening in your child’s classroom and that your local school board treat you with respect.

“I want to thank my wife, Jill, and my entire family. To our supporters who have been with us from the start – victory was only possible because of your hard work and support. I ask you to keep us in your prayers, and with God’s help, I know we can make communities and the lives of every West Texan even better.

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