BASTROP COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape, a Republican, is the latest to say he will throw his name in the hat for Texas House District 17.
That district oversees Bastrop, Caldwell and Lee counties, among others.
“I am passionate about putting conservative values to work,” Pape said in part in a release. “As a husband, father, grandfather, business owner and public servant, I want to make sure that future generations have the freedom, safety, and opportunity to live their American Dream right here in Central Texas.”
Pape has been the Bastrop County judge since 2012. He is also a rancher and businessman, according to his announcement.
A few days prior, Stan Gerdes, a former President Donald Trump administration official and current Smithville City Councilmember announced his run for the seat.
“We have lost so much so quickly under Biden,” Gerdes said in a campaign announcement. “Our border is open and unsecure, regulations have stifled oil and gas production and Biden’s inflation is a hidden tax on families.”
Gerdes said in that release that he is “pro-2nd Amendment, will defend innocent life, and is committed to protection our children from divisive programs like Critical Race Theory.”
According to the Texas Secretary of State’s website, there are two additional Republicans who have officially filed for Texas House District 17.
Jen Bezner describes herself on her campaign website as a Texan from birth, a born-again Christian and someone who “cherishes her freedom.”
“We deserve to raise our children as we see fit, not as the government dictates,” she wrote on her campaign website.
Thomas Glass is the other Republican candidate listed. His campaign website says he’s retired from a career at ExxonMobil where he worked on cyber-security, among other things.
“He has spent many Texas legislative sessions advocating for legislation that will increase Texas liberty,” his website states.
There are two Democrats who have filed for the role, according to the Texas Secretary of State’s website.
Madeline Eden lists her priorities on her campaign website as healthcare, education, environment and climate, criminal justice reform, rural broadband and redistricting and gerrymandering.
Josh Tutt posted on Twitter that he is a rural progressive Democrat. “It’s time for something new in Texas. We deserve better,” he wrote.
His website lists his main issues as building rural infrastructure, expanding healthcare access, strengthening public education and preserving the environment, among others.
The announcements come after Representative John Cyrier, who is in the seat now, announced he would not be running for re-election.
“I have spoken often about the sacrifices by my spouse and coworkers that make this work possible, and I want to publicly thank my wife, Rachelle, for the sacrifices she has made throughout the years that allowed me to serve,” he said in part.