Polls now open in House Dist. 17 race
By LPR Staff
Voting opened on Monday in the special-called election for the District 17 seat in the Texas House of Representatives.
The seat was recently vacated by Representative Tim Kleinschmidt (R-Lexington), who bested Democrat Carolyn Banks by a wide margin to win his fourth term in the Texas House of Representativ
es. Despite winning the election, Kleinschmidt resigned his position in November, instead accepting a position as the General Counsel at the Texas Department of Agriculture under Commissioner-elect Sid Miller.
Last month, Governor Rick Perry called for the special election for the House seat, which in addition to Caldwell County, will represent Bastrop, Gonzales, Karnes and Lee Counties.
Former Caldwell County Commissioner John Cyrier (R-Lockhart), promptly threw his hat into the ring, challenged at first only by Bastrop County Republican Brent Goleman. As filing closed last week, Democrats Ty McDonald (Bastrop) and Shelley Cartier (Bastrop), along with Independent Linda Curtis stepped up to the plate to seek the seat, which will be decided on Jan. 6, 2015, just ahead of the opening of the 84th Texas Legislature on Jan. 13.
Cyrier, a general contractor who served an appointed term as Precinct 1 Commissioner for Caldwell County, has been working to obtain support throughout the District, but faces heavy competition from both sides of the aisle. In what is expected to be a low-turnout election, Cyrier faces a challenge from four candidates from Bastrop County, including two former Legislative aides, the wife of a former Bastrop County Judge, and a community organizer devoted to rallying the independent vote.
Ty McDonald, a former Bastrop Independent School District Trustee, served one term on BISD, and a year as president, before embracing her current position as pastor of the Breath of Life Deliverance (BOLD) Church, in Bastrop. She is the wife of former Bastrop County Judge Ronnie McDonald, and has filed to run as a Democrat on the Jan. 6 ballot.
Democrat Shelley Cartier, a Cedar Creek realtor, has also thrown her name into the pot as a candidate in the race. Cartier has a limited online presence, and in the truncated timeframe allowed by the calling of the special election, this office has been able to obtain little information about her campaign or positions.
Independent Linda Curtis is a director and co-founder of Independent Texans, a political action committee geared toward defeating incumbent candidates “who are deserving of such,” and offering a voice to non-partisan politics throughout the state. A self-proclaimed “community organizer,” Curtis has focused through the years on non-toll roadways, along with property and water rights.
Republican Brent Goleman is a Bastrop County entrepreneur who has embraced a platform of conservatism and small business rights in his quest for the District 17 seat.
Early voting is available until Jan. 2, 2015, at the LW Scott Annex, 1403 Blackjack St., in Lockhart, and at the Luling Civic Center, 300 E. Austin St., in Luling. Polls will be open on Election Day from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. throughout Caldwell County. Find a list of Caldwell County polling locations here.
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