Cyrier claims House seat
By LPR Staff
After a long, tense and occasionally contentious race, Lockhart resident John Cyrier declared victory on Tuesday evening, earning a seat as the Representative for the Texas House, District 17.
Cyrier handily won a five-member candidate pool during the Special Called election in January, but was forced to fa
ce Bastrop businessman Brent Golemon in a runoff after a failure to earn the plurality of the vote.
Voters came back to the polls this week to make a statement to both candidates.
In what is possibly the highest local turnout in a special-called, runoff election, Cyrier scraped ahead of Golemon, winning the seat in the House by a five-point margin.
The election was ordered by former Governor Rick Perry after Tim Kleinschmidt won his re-election bid in November, but promptly stepped down to accept a position as General Counsel for the Texas Department of Agriculture. Candidates from across the political spectrum stepped forward to represent the five-county House District 17 in the upcoming 83rd Texas Legislature.
Although Bastrop and Lee Counties chose Golemon, the son of a Tea Party lobbyist as their representative, Cyrier managed to carry Caldwell, Karnes and Gonzales Counties, pulling 52 percent of the nearly 8,000 votes cast.
A former Caldwell County Commissioner, appointed by Democrat County Judge HT Wright, Cyrier, a Republican, easily won Caldwell County, earning 1,119 votes in Caldwell County, to Golemon’s 485. The voting totals mark a 7.49 percent voter turnout, a low number in theory, but high for Caldwell County’s usual voter turnout.
As tallies started to roll in on Tuesday evening, a reporting error out of Karnes County caused tension, showing the race within 50 votes, with Cyrier carrying a small edge. However, as the numbers continued to funnel through the Secretary of State’s Office, Cyrier, surrounded by a group of friends and supporters from throughout the five-county District, declared victory just after 10 p.m.
“Whether I won your vote or not, I will work my hardest to earn your trust over the coming months,” Cyrier posted to his website on Tuesday night. “[I will work to] get results and make this district proud.”
Cyrier, who has chosen not to visit the Legislature since they opened session in mid-January, will be sworn in later this month.
Chief of Staff MeLissa Nemecek assured on Tuesday evening that Cyrier will continue his open-door policy during his Legislative term, and said she is looking forward to continuing to work with Caldwell County residents. Nemecek was formerly the Chief of Staff for Kleinschmidt’s office.
This is the first time in recent history that a Caldwell County resident has earned a seat in the Texas House of Representatives.