by BOBBY BLANCHARD and ALEXA URA
Texas House District 17, which spans five counties east of Austin, opened when State Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt (R-Lexington) announced he was leaving his seat for a job as the state agriculture department’s general counsel.
Kleinschmidt had easily kept the district under Republican control since being elected in 2009. The district encompasses Lee, Bastrop, Caldwell, Gonzales and Karnes counties.
Voters will have their pick of five candidates to replace Kleinschmidt during a special election on Tuesday, Jan. 6.:
John Cyrier, the president and CEO of a construction company in Austin. Cyrier, a Republican, previously served as a Caldwell County commissioner and county judge pro tem. He has a wide range of endorsements, including that of outgoing Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson.
Brent Golemon, a local businessman who previously worked for various management companies. Golemon, a Republican, previously served on the Bastrop County Water District board. His platform includes opposition to abortion and regulations on guns.
Shelley Cartier, a realtor who previously ran as an independent candidate for Bastrop County Judge. In this race, she’s running as a Democrat.
Ty McDonald, a Bastrop pastor who worked as a legislative director in the 1990s for state Rep. Yvonne Davis, D-Dallas, and as a campaign coordinator for former comptroller John Sharp. The Democrat is the former president of the Bastrop Independent School District.
Linda Curtis, the founder of Independent Texans and the only third-party candidate in the race. She was involved in the movement to bring single-member districts to the Austin City Council and helped found the League of Independent Voters of Texas.
BOBBY BLANCHARD and ALEXA URA reports for The Texas Tribune where this story was originally published. It is made available here through a news partnership between the Texas Tribune and the San Marcos Mercury.
COVER: PHOTO by JON WILEY. MERCURY GRAPHIC by BRAD ROLLINSEmail | Print