EXCLUSIVE: Texas Railroad Commission candidate appearing nearly nude on pumpjack has 'no regrets'
HOUSTON - For as long as there has been a Texas "oil patch", it's been replete with "risk-takers" - men and women looking to gamble all on their "know-how" and their "gut."
Turns out, the same "boom or bust" notion has emerged in the race to regulate oil and natural gas in the Lone Star State.
"I've got no secrets. This is me, take it or leave it," said Sarah Stogner, a Republican running for a slot on the Texas Railroad Commission.
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Long on experience, but short on exposure, Stogner opted to pull in plenty of eyeballs aboard a West Texas pumpjack while mostly in the buff. The video has gone viral.
"It's supposed to be fun, tongue in cheek. Now that I've got your attention, let's put our clothes back on and start talking about our groundwater, let's start talking about the earthquakes, let's start talking about flaring, let's start talking about all the issues facing the energy sector," said Stogner.
For those willing to find out, Stogner's got commendable credentials as an energy lawyer with a solid grasp of what works, what doesn't, and why?
"They'll say oh, she's actually an experienced qualified attorney. She has operational experience. She understands the oil field, and she's going to bring the voice of reason that's so desperately needed inside that agency," said Stogner.
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As for her new label as the "the Lady Godiva" of the Texas oil patch, Stogner has zero regrets.
In her mind, the pay-off of political exposure triggered by harmless bodily exposure may well prove the necessary means to a better end.
"We need people who understand the oil and gas industry, not career politicians making decisions based on who's paying them," said Stogner.
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Has it worked? Stogner says this weekend while visiting the rodeo, at least a third of the people encountered knew exactly who she was, in large part, because of the video going viral.
Stogner is the only woman in the race. She is competing against incumbent Wayne Christian and challengers Tom Slocum and Dawayne Tipton.