Sanchez briefly worked as Texas Parks and Wildlife commissioner, and after his time there, that agency granted him a controversial permit in 1993 to drill gas wells in Falcon State Park. Putting a positive spin on the permit, Sanchez said, “There would be no greater joy than to see a beautiful park that our children and adults can go to and learn about the oil and gas industry.”
During Sanchez's campaign to unseat Perry, the heated topic was homeowner's insurance reform. Questiona arose over a multimillion dollar settlement against Farmer's Insurance regarding mold coverage and the role played by former state legislator Joe Nixon).
Sanchez has also contributed to then Governor and later U.S. President George W. Bush. After Enron, Sanchez was the largest donor to Bush, having given an estimated half a million dollars, according to the Center for Public Integrity.
Sanchez has served as aide to former Lieutenant Governor Ben Barnes. Today, he is chairman and CEO of Sanchez Oil & Gas Corporation, a privately held company he built with his father, Antonio Sanchez, Sr. He and his family are also majority owners of International Bancshares Corporation, a multi-billion dollar bank holding company.
Right after the March 7, 2006, primary, Sanchez announced his support of independent gubernatorial candidate Carol Keeton Strayhorn, who fared poorly in Webb County voting, in her general election campaign against Perry.
On December 13, 2007, Texas A&M International University in Laredo announced that the A.R. "Tony" and Maria J. "Tani" Sanchez Family Foundation is donating donating $10 million to create an endowment in the College of Business. The foundation already underwrites several undertakings at TAMIU, including its Distinguished Speakers program. Sanchez has also given generously to the establishment of the cancer treatment center of the Laredo Medical Center.