UPSHUR COUNTY – A Northeast Texas technology and efficiency consultant hopes to do for the General Land Office what he does for companies nationwide. David L. Watts Jr., 46, has filed papers with the Texas Ethics Commission allowing the Upshur County resident to raise money in a bid for the GOP nomination for the office of Texas Land Commissioner. Commissioner Jerry Patterson has announced he will seek the lieutenant governor’s position in the 2014 Republican primary. KETK and the Longview News-Journal report that Watts joins George P. Bush, nephew and grandson of former presidents, in the Republican hunt to replace Patterson.
The General Land Office oversees state-owned lands that fuel the Permanent School Fund, manages veterans benefits and maintains the Texas historical archives. “It is a fascinating office,” said Watts, a 14-year resident near East Mountain who works for a North Carolina company that sends him around the country helping businesses with technology. “I help businesses become more efficient, more effective — kind of reinvent themselves,” he said. “Companies fly me around the U.S., sometimes around the world. Why not bring that home and focus on this work? That (land) agency is sort of like a business for the government. It’s got to organize and execute, that’s what I do all day long.”