The search for an Agriculture Secretary has turned its attention to Susan Combs. She’s a former Commissioner of Agriculture and state comptroller of Texas. Combs met with Vice President-elect Mike Pence on Tuesday, which may have been due to the endorsement of House Ag Committee Chairman Mike Conaway of Texas. He told Politico’s Morning Agriculture report that he’s “been working to put her name into consideration” with President-elect Trump’s transition management team. The team didn’t comment publicly, but Combs is the first publicly acknowledged candidate for Ag Secretary to meet with Pence or Trump since North Dakota Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp on December 2. Combs grew up on a west Texas cattle ranch, but some are questioning her fit with the Trump administration. As Texas Ag Commissioner, she pushed nutrition policies in line with Michelle Obama’s and backed two of Trump’s rivals in the primaries. Conaway said her accomplishments as a comptroller stand out, saying she streamlined tax processes, recaptured $600 million in unpaid taxes, and cut $400 million dollars in government purchasing by making the process more efficient. Conaway says, “The federal government needs more people with that kind of expertise.”
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.