Get to know 10 state and county positions on your November ballot

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Do you ever wonder what some of the officeholders on your election ballot actually do? Here are some details on a few positions up for election this year.

Governor
The governor serves as the chief executive of Texas and can serve an unlimited number of four-year terms. The governor offers policy recommendations and may introduce bills, and is also responsible for appointing state board and commission members.

Lieutenant governor
The lieutenant governor serves as president of the state Senate and is responsible for establishing committees and appointing members.

Attorney general
The attorney general is the lawyer for the state of Texas and is responsible for defending the state’s constitutional laws, representing the
state in litigation and approving public bond issues, among other duties. The attorney general is elected to four-year terms.

Comptroller for public accounts
The comptroller is responsible for managing the state’s finances by acting as its tax collector, accountant and treasurer. The comptroller is elected to four-year terms.

Commissioner of the General Land Office
The land commissioner manages state assets, investments and mineral rights and also leads numerous boards and commissions. The commissioner is elected to four-year terms.

Commissioner of agriculture
The agriculture commissioner manages consumer protection, agriculture, healthy living and economic development programs. The commissioner is elected to four-year terms.

Railroad commissioner
Three commissioners are elected to six-year terms. A railroad commissioner has policy- and rule-making responsibilities for the commission, which, despite its name, no longer oversees Texas railroads. The commission now regulates the oil and natural gas industry.

County judge
The CEO of the county is involved in nearly all aspects of county government and is elected to a four-year term. Key responsibilities for the judge include preparing the county’s budget and presiding over the elected county commissioners court. The judge also serves as administrator of county departments and senior department heads.

County treasurer
As a chief financial custodian, the treasurer is responsible for the safekeeping and investing of the county’s money. Primary duties of the position include maintaining the county’s financial accounts and disbursing funds as directed by county commissioners. Treasurers are elected to four-year terms

County clerk
Responsibilities of this elected position include serving as clerk of the county court system and the county commissioners court. The clerk also issues marriage licenses, acts as a recorder of deeds, takes depositions, and maintains county records. Clerks are elected to four-year terms.

Sources: Texas Association of Counties, Texas Secretary of State’s Office, Williamson County/Community Impact Newspaper

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