AUSTIN (KXAN) — If you ever wanted to go on long road trips with Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, now could be your chance. There’s a unique, limited-time job opening at the Ag Department. Miller needs a driver, some specials skills required.
Applicants should know how to “perform highly complex motor vehicle operations,” according to the job posting. Pay tops out at about $35,000.
Mark Loeffler, an Agriculture Department spokesman, said the employee would act as a “travel aid.” The staffer would assist Miller at events and typically take the wheel on longer road trips for state business. It is not uncommon for a statewide elected official to have a driver, Loeffler said. Most of the time Miller drives himself, but he has a scheduler that helps with driving duties, he added.
“This travel aide position will allow Commissioner Miller to use those long hours on the road to get more work done for the people of Texas,” Loeffler said.
Miller’s office confirmed the vehicle driver position is new. KXAN spoke with former Agriculture Commissioner, Democrat Jim Hightower, who held the post through much of the 1980s. He said he never had a driver.
“I can tell you that it is hard work to be commissioner of agriculture, but it is not such hard work that you need to be escorted around by a personal driver,” Hightower said. “We got along just fine without it, and I think most state officials don’t require it, though maybe he is setting a precedent here and others will follow suit.”
- You can read the job posting here
KXAN checked with the offices of other statewide officials. Several officials do have drivers, but Miller’s job posting appears unique. It seems no other statewide elected official has a dedicated “special assistant” civilian driver position quite like this one.
The Texas Department of Public Safety handles security and driving for Gov. Greg Abbott, Attorney General Ken Paxton and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, according to their offices and DPS. Comptroller Glenn Hegar has an employee that drives him, but that aspect of the employee’s job is part time and the employee has other duties. George P. Bush, commissioner of the Texas General Land Office, doesn’t have a driver, although an assistant sometimes escorts him, according to his office.
Railroad Commissioners don’t have state-funded drivers nor do Supreme Court justices and Court of Criminal Appeals judges, according to representatives with their offices. It appears no other statewide elected official has a full-time, non-DPS driver position.
You can apply for the position here. The job opportunity closes on Jan. 20, 2017.