The mayor of Uvalde announced his candidacy for Texas Agriculture Commissioner Thursday.
Uvalde Mayor J. Allen Carnes is currently the only candidate for the position who is a farmer, producer and mayor of a growing municipality.
Carnes formally announced his entry in the Republican primary with friends and supporters surrounding him at the Leon Civic Center in Uvalde.
As a third generation farmer, Carnes worked his way up to running his family's produce business before stepping into public service.
Carnes says he understands what must be done in rural, urban and suburban Texas to keep the state sustainable and to avoid Texas' dependence on foreign lands for food, clothing and shelter.
“We have a farm crisis in Texas today," said Carnes. "Our population is booming, the demand for food production is exploding, our water resources are dwindling and fewer people are choosing farming and ranching as a profession.". I will work to protect agriculture, encourage a new generation of farmers and ranchers, promote healthy living, and conserve our natural resources."
Carnes worked in 2004 alongside Todd Staples, Texas' current Commissioner of Agriculture, on critical issues to the state's agriculture industry.
“I’ve spent a lot of time in Washington and Austin as a volunteer advocate for Texas agriculture. I’ve seen the lack of understanding in Congress and the Legislature,” Carnes told the group. “My wife told me after one trip to D.C., ‘Don’t complain. Do something about it.’ So here I am.”
On Carnes' family farm that now covers over 3,500 acres, they produce and ship cabbage, broccoli, onions, grain and cotton across the nation.
Carnes was elected to Uvalde City Council in 2008, then to mayor in 2012.
“I’m not a politician. I am Texas Agriculture," said Carnes." The people of Texas have been counting on farmers and ranchers like me to put food on their table for generations, and I will work to secure a thriving and sustainable Texas for our children, grandchildren and future generations.”
Carnes received his Finance Degree from the University of Texas' McCombs School of Business in 1997. He has also served as president of the Texas Vegetable Association, was board member and director of the Texas Produce Association, was the Texas Representative for the National Council of Ag Employers, and member of the Texas Rural Health and Economic Development Advisory Council, United Fresh Produce Association Governmental Relations council, the Texas Farm Bureau, Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform and the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers.