VOTE EARLY: Oct. 24 - Nov. 4
ELECTION DAY: Nov. 8
Former Associate Director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation
Co-founder and managing director of Explore Ranches
Director of the Texas Lyceum, a non-partisan civic engagement group
Co-founder of the Amazon Alliance (Aliança da Terra)
Advisory Board Member of the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business
Board Member of Flatsworthy, a grassroots conservation organization on the Texas coast
Board Member of Caesar Kleberg Foundation for Wildlife Conservation
Former Board Chair of Texas Water Trade, a non-profit water conservation organization
Former Board Chair of the El Paso Regional Mobility Advocacy Group, a nonprofit transportation advocacy organization
Former Board Member of the El Paso Museum of History Foundation, philanthropic partner to Museum
Former Board Member of the Community Scholars Program, a non-profit leadership development organization for El Paso High School students
I have dedicated my entire life to enhancing our natural resources and ensuring that we manage and conserve land for the benefit of future generations. I believe that our quality of life, food stability, energy dependence, and diversity of wildlife depend on the responsible stewardship of Texas landscapes.
What is the General Land Office?
The Texas Land Commissioner oversees the General Land Office, established in 1836, it’s the oldest state agency in Texas. The main role of the Texas Land Commissioner is to oversee Texas’ 13 million acres of public lands—using the revenue streams from these lands to invest in the Texas Permanent School Fund, which provides valuable funding to our public schools.
The Land Commissioner oversees natural disaster relief funds, the Alamo, and works to keep our beaches clean and open. The Commissioner is also Chair of the Veterans Land Board, which provides low-interest property loans to veterans. The office also manages 9 Texas Veterans Homes and 4 Veteran Cemeteries.
The General Land Office is a post that most people don’t know much about, but you should care about it––because the next Land Commissioner has the opportunity to lead the way in investing in our schools, supporting our veterans, and creating a more resilient Texas for us to enjoy.
My name is Jay Kleberg. I’m a father to three beautiful daughters, Sophia, Katherine, and Amelia, and a husband to my wonderful wife, Chrissy Kleberg. I’m running for Texas Land Commissioner because I believe that we have to protect our lands, and we don’t have time for inaction. We have so many beautiful, vital landscapes in our state, and I want my daughters to be able to share this beauty with their kids.
I was born in South Texas and raised on the King Ranch. As a sixth-generation Texan, I started working cattle when I was 5 years old.
Growing up in an agricultural community taught me the value of hard work and getting the job done right. It also gave me a deep respect for Texas, the land, and people from all walks of life. As I got older, I quickly realized that our individual freedoms do not negate our responsibility to one another. We have to take initiative and ensure that our great state will thrive for generations to come.
The passion I gained for our lands as a child has led me to a more than decade-long career in conservation. As the former Associate Director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, our team lead the largest land acquisition for conservation purposes in Texas history. The 17,000-acre piece of land is now a publicly-accessible wildlife haven located 150 miles southwest of Houston. During my tenure, we raised more than $100 million to conserve Texas’ wild things and wild places.
As the co-founder and managing director of Explore Ranches, I work to safeguard the beauty of Texas for future generations by helping landowners improve and protect natural resources on homesteads across the state. As a film producer, I’ve traveled across Texas to create innovative conservation curriculum and recently traversed the entire 1,200 miles of the Texas-Mexico border — by horse, bike, and canoe — for the feature film The River and the Wall.
I’ve spent my entire life working to protect and preserve this beautiful state. From my time on the ranch as a kid, to my work with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, to the conservation curriculum I’ve helped develop for a new feature film called Deep in the Heart: A Texas Wildlife Story, it’s clear that Texas has the unique ability to lead the way in protecting our public lands and ensuring the General Land Office is a force of good for all Texans.
Hurricane frequency is increasing, droughts are getting more severe, and we just experienced one of the worst winter storms in our state’s history. Now more than ever we are reminded that our fellow Texan’s lives–and livelihoods–are at stake.
Equipped with land management experience, a deep understanding of our state’s needs and challenges, and an MBA from the University of Texas, I’m ready to get to work. We need a Land Commissioner who will be a steward of Texas’ 13 million acres of public lands and invest in our future, our veterans, and our public education system.
Together, we can help protect and invest in the Texas we know and love.