SAN MARCOS, Texas — A battle is on the horizon for one San Marcos woman looking to become the next Texas Railroad Commissioner.
- Kelly Stone running for Raolroad commissioner
- Wants to unseat Ryan Sitton
- Says she’s not a typical candidate
The colorful and quirky Democrat Kelly Stone knows she's "anything but typical" when it comes to candidates, but she hopes to make a name for herself this election.
"In 2020, we need to show the world that we can take back our government," Stone said. "Rosie the Riveter showed us that 'we can do it.' Then Miley Cyrus came along and said 'we can't stop, we won't stop.'"
Stone recently returned from the Progressive Change Campaign Committee conference in Detroit, Michigan, where she traveled by train.
"Many of the rock stars that I sort of admire in our new government have been trained by this organization and helping us really not be afraid of being progressive. Our fear does not stop the suffering," Stone said.
Stone and her campaign manager made several stops along the way to the conference, using a bullhorn to deliver humorous soapbox stump speeches on the train platforms.
"I'm a natural cheerleader, I was a cheerleader all through high school and so I'm not afraid to make noise and create a ruckus," Stone said. "My goal with my campaign is edutainment so that I'm entertaining people but also educating them. And so it was a tool or a vehicle to get people's attention, and it certainly did."
Stone said she took the train to Detroit, not just because it's a more environmentally friendly way of traveling, but to highlight the irony that Railroad Commissioners no longer deal with trains.
"Voters are confused. They think they're voting for something to do with the railroad. And so to bring more transparency to this organization that is controlling oil, gas and pipelines, I think it's really important that the name be changed."
Along with the name change, Stone's campaign is focused on environmental activism and protecting landowners.
"The Kinder Morgan pipeline that they're proposing to put through 430 miles through Central Texas, if our water is contaminated in Central Texas through this pipeline, 4 million people will be without clean drinking water," Stone said. "These corporations can come in and take over people's land and they call it a “public utility” but it's because they checked a box for their own profits. And so I want to kind of pull back the curtain and look at the man behind the curtain and say 'no.'”
All jokes aside, the veteran comedian and educator knows she has a tough fight ahead of her.
"I'm certainly an outsider and I think that that's an important voice to bring in representing the people and the environment. Because it's been such a narrowly focused group that a lot of us have gotten lost, and people are dying and animals are dying and plants are dying. So it's time for change."
Stone earned her bachelor's degree from Texas State University in 2000 and her master's degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 2005. A prominent Dallas attorney, Chrysta Castañeda, is also running on the Democratic side.
Both want the chance to unseat incumbent Republican Ryan Sitton in the general election. Sitton’s seat is one of three on the Railroad Commission.