Ever since Hurricane Harvey decimated the Coastal Bend and left thousands without homes or businesses, politicians have recognized the needs of their constituents on the Texas Gulf Coast. The candidate for Texas Land Commissioner, Miguez Suazo, visited Port Aransas this past Friday to understand how far along the recovery efforts are. He is currently running against the incumbent, Commissioner George P. Bush.
"The Texas General Land Office actually has programs and administers programs to help people recover from and prepare against the next storms that are here," Suazo said.
Suazo's visit mirrors a similar visit from Commissioner Bush in early July—the public official visited Rockport and nearby areas to see how the Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts were going. Bush also reiterated the state's commitment to the residents and business owners of the Coastal Bend.
The Texas Land Commissioner is the head of the Texas General Land Office, which manages all public land owned by the state. The General Land Office has the authority to lease and sell public land, issue surveys and maps, and use royalties to fund public education. As we reported last month, the Texas Land Commissioner has been authorized to oversee $10 billion in federal aid being poured into the state through city and county organizations.
Either Way, the Coastal Bend Benefits from Public Knowledge
Regardless of who wins, candidates preparing to fight for the future of the Coastal Bend is good for the region. Ultimately, both candidates know that if they want to win the state, they'll need to win over the people of Rockport, Port Aransas, and Corpus Christi. Publicity and funding could end up pouring into the Coastal Bend recovery efforts, much of which is needed to get the housing and tourist industries back on their feet.
The eyes of Texas have been on Port Aransas and Rockport this summer—few cities are as dependent on seasonal visitors and customers as these two cities. How this year takes shape will be forecasted by how much of our billion-dollar tourism economy bounces back from the edge.
Thankfully, the forecast looks good—especially as our leaders pay more attention in the run-up to the November ballot.