Senator Dawn Buckingham to run for Texas Land Commissioner, and Judge Eva Guzman may also seek promotion
Updated at 6:07 p.m. with the resignation of judge Eva Guzman.
AUSTIN – Senator Dawn Buckingham is seeking to lead the Texas General Land Office, becoming the first high-level Republican to fill the statewide vacancy by George P. Bush.
Meanwhile, Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman has said she will step down from the bench. Guzman, who was the first Hispanic woman to be elected to a statewide post, is seen as a prospect for another high-level post, possibly including attorney general.
The move comes less than a year before the 2022 GOP primary.
Bush’s announcement last week that he is challenging outgoing GOP attorney general Ken Paxton paved the way for Buckingham to run for the land commissioner seat. Last year, she led the state’s GOP Coordinated Campaign, a post in which she traveled on a campaign bus with U.S. Senator John Cornyn and other top Texas Republicans.
“It is my goal as your next Texas Land Commissioner to protect the heroes who served in our military, to protect our exceptional natural resources, and to protect our unique Texas heritage, especially the Alamo,” said Buckingham, 53, said in a statement.
The generally obscure General Land Office was recently placed in the political spotlight for its role overseeing a major renovation of the historic Alamo site and distributing funds for Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts. Its next leader will likely inherit both issues, in addition to the agency’s other duties managing the homes, beaches and lands of the state’s veterans. Bush has headed the General Land Office since 2015.
Buckingham, an ophthalmologist who lives in Lakeway, was first elected to the Senate in 2016.
This year, she introduced a bill to advance Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s “Star-Spangled Banner” act, which was tabled after the Dallas Mavericks played 13 games without playing the anthem earlier this year. season. The law, now awaiting Gov. Greg Abbott’s signature, requires professional sports teams that receive public funding to promise the song will be played at the start of each event.
Buckingham enters the race with more than $ 1.1 million in campaign money in hand, according to the latest case filed with the Texas Ethics Commission.
Guzman, 60, who has served on the state’s Supreme Court since former Gov. Rick Perry appointed her to a vacant seat in 2009, announced his resignation, effective Friday, in a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott. She did not give a reason for leaving.
“For more than two decades, I have strived to enrich our state’s jurisprudence and help Texans solve problems,” Guzman wrote to Abbott.
She noted that she had served as a district and state appeals judge in Houston before serving for the past 11 years on the state’s highest civil court. Guzman has served on several committees, including those on children and access to justice. Former Governor George W. Bush appointed her to the district court bench in 1999.
Guzman, who won his first statewide race in 2010, did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment.
When re-elected in 2016, Guzman led the Republican ticket in Texas, garnering 4.88 million votes, more than GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump or any state candidate that year.
As of December 31, his judicial campaign account had a balance of $ 134,000. His tenure in the field would have ended at the end of next year.