In recent years, the question of influence has led candidates to suggest downsizing or eliminating the commission altogether; in 1996, all three challengers who sought to unseat incumbent Rylander ran on variations of such a platform. Although Henderson agrees that, ultimately, the public would best be served by merging the commission with the Public Utility Commission, the issue has not become prominent in this year's campaign, and the solvency of the Railroad Commission seems, for at least the next two years, assured. Garza, who left his appointed position as secretary of state to seek the railroad commission office, says that Texas has enough appointed positions already. "We all want ways to do it more effectively," he says. "I think people want smaller and more efficient government, but I don't think I'm prepared to say so small we can't fulfill our basic objectives: railroad safety and enforcement, environmental safety, and regulation of the industry."
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