WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) – The Texas House seat for District 136 – a Williamson County district which stretches from Cedar Park to large parts of Round Rock – is up for election on Nov. 8.
Keep up-to-date by going to KXAN’s election page for coverage ahead of election day Nov. 8 and results.
How do I know if I’m in District 136?
After the redrawing of the new political maps for the state’s congressional districts in 2021, District 136 represents more than 203,500 residents in parts of north Austin, Round Rock, Cedar Park, and the Brushy Creek area in Travis and Williamson County. To find out if your address falls into District 136, you can use this search tool.
Who’s on the ballot for District 136?
Democratic Representative John H. Bucy III has held the seat for four years and will be running for re-election. Since 2018, Rep. Bucy was appointed to the House Committee on Elections, Transportation, the Constitutional Rights and Remedies, and most recently named a member of the Health Care Reform Committee.
In an interview about his campaign discussing questions about abortion, gun rights, and property taxes, the state house representative expressed his frustration with the current legislation:
“We’ve had 30 years of one-party leadership. It’s led to failure after failure, by under-funding our schools, by not being responsive on health care, by not updating and maintaining our infrastructure.”
In his time as a state representative, Bucy has introduced and co-authored several bills focused on Medicaid expansion, voting rights, and public education such as the sweeping House Bill 3. Despite the chamber being controlled by the Republican party, Bucy fights for his Democratic values while keeping the conversations going with both sides.
“I promised always and in all of my campaigns that I would go work across the aisle to get things done while continuing to fight for my progressive values. And I think that’s something I’ve been successful doing, passing numerous bills on a wide variety of issues”.
Republican challenger Michelle Evans will face incumbent Bucy. In an interview about the priorities and goals of her campaign, the small business owner and fifth-generation Texan shares her thoughts on why she decided to run:
“I was taken out of House District 52 and put into House District 136, and I knew that John Bucy’s values did not align with mine or the people that I interacted with on a daily basis in Round Rock”.
She said her main concerns are public safety issues in Williamson County. Talking to voters on the campaign trail, she points out that residents have witnessed dramatic rises in violent crime, the presence of chronic invisible homelessness, and fentanyl overdoses. “I want to ensure their safety, the safety of their families, their children, by trying to disincentivize attempts to either provide leniency or cover for criminals… or disincentivize things like defunding the police.”
Furthermore, Evans sets her focus on protecting parental rights in education. “I would like to see school choice push across the finish line, next session in Texas. If you don’t want to be involved in an ESSA program, you don’t have to be. And if you don’t feel comfortable with the option, then you can completely bow out,” she said.
Libertarian Burton Culley is also running in District 136. The U.S. Army veteran said his decision to run came from his frustration with both parties: “I don’t think that the state or the country is on the right path. I think the actual position we should have as a state and as a country is more in the middle.”
Culley, who is an IT specialist for over 40 years, hopes to phase out property taxes, legalize cannabis for industrial and medical uses and cut back on the involvement of government.
Why is this election historically significant?
This will be the first election to take place since Texas lawmakers drew new maps for the state House and Senate districts in 2021. Voters are now faced with demographic shifts that might lead to a change in representation – residents might see a different incumbent in their district.
More importantly, voting in the midterm will be central to the further development of the state. The outcome of the midterm can change or maintain partisan breakdown in the lower chamber of the Texas State Legislature.
Since the repeal of the Voter Rights Act, it is also the first time in 50 years, that the state was not required to prove the new districts don’t dilute the electoral power of voters of color.
What changes were made to District 136 in 2021?
Previously, District 136 was made up of large parts of Cedar Park, Leander, and north Austin. Now, with the new district lines, District 136 consists of major parts of Round Rock, southeast Cedar Park, and north Austin.
Demographically, constituents were 66.7 % Anglo and 33.3% Non-Anglo, now with the new district lines, its population is 46.8% Anglo, and 53.2% Non-Anglo.
When & where can I vote?
Early voting will begin on Oct. 24 and will end Nov. 5. Election Day is Nov. 8.