AUSTIN, Texas — Democratic Texas Agriculture Commissioner candidate Kim Olson is a retired Air Force colonel, a fourth-generation farmer and said she wants to bring professional leadership back to the Texas Ag Department.

“For the first day, I would like to reestablish the professionalism that is that organization. It’s a powerful organization. It’s important to our economy,” Olson said.

Olson is challenging Republican incumbent Sid Miller. Miller won his party’s primary without a runoff but has grown a reputation for controversy. He’s drawn ire for some social media posts and used state taxpayer dollars to finance a trip to Oklahoma where he received a “Jesus shot.” He agreed to refund the money.

While political experts agree Olson is a strong candidate, she’s a Democrat in a state where her party hasn’t won a statewide race since 1994.

Olson contends she can win this race by gaining votes on both sides.

“You go to them. Because representative government is about going to where they are, listening to their needs,” Olson said. “A lot of it is getting out, getting your name out there. And remember we talk about Texas a lot not being a red state, a blue state but really she is a non-voting state.”

Click the video link above to watch the full interview with Olson.  

Learn more about these stories and other issues affecting people across Texas on Capital Tonight airing Monday through Friday at 7 p.m., on channels 1, 8, and 200 in Austin and 14 and 200 in San Antonio. Stick with Spectrum News for continuing 2018 election coverage.