AUSTIN (KXAN) — Primary elections in Texas happen on March 6, making the Lone Star State the first in the country to begin the formal decision-making process for 2018. This year is different in another way too. More women are vying open seats, and that includes Texas House District 45. In November, incumbent State Rep. Jason Isaac announced he would not run for re-election, and instead run for Congress for the seat currently held by Rep. Lamar Smith. Now, five women and three men fight for the open Texas House District 45 position.Democratic Candidates:
Erin Zwiener (D) is a self-described conservationist who was born and raised Texas. She studied forestry at the University of Montana. Zwiener appeared on the game show Jeopardy! in 2012 and won three times. She protested Senate Bill 4 in front of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Louisiana. Following her announcement to run for the Texas House District 45, Zwiener was endorsed by Our Revolution Texas, a progressive organization committed to helping members canvass. Zwiener has also been endorsed by Wimberley Indivisible, Left Up to Us and Run for Something.
Les Carnes (D) is not new to the world of legislation. For 27 years Carnes was tasked with laws, regulation and tax measures while he worked at the State Comptroller’s Office in revenue accounting. Now, Carnes is a criminal analyst for Travis County Constable Precinct 3 with the Clean Air Task Force. A founding member of the San Marcos Area Democrats, Carnes’s main issues include water, protecting teachers and development. John Adams, who ran in the 2012 election for Texas House of Representatives District 45, has endorsed Carnes.
Rebecca Bell-Metereau (D) has been an English and film professor at Texas State University for over 30 years where she was awarded the Faculty Senate Teaching Award. While working in San Marcos, Bell-Metereau has served on the San Marcos Planning and Zoning Commission and other volunteer outlets. Bell-Metereau received her undergrad, masters and Doctorate from Indiana University Bloomington. Bell-Metereau has run for office in Texas before, as a three-time Democratic nominee for the State Board of Education.Republican Candidates:
Amber Pearce (R) not only juggles five children, but also acts as the Vice President of Operations for her jointly owned oil and gas business headquartered in Blanco County. Pearce is a conservative who is advocating for border security, jobs and the economy, and the second amendment. Pearce has been endorsed by West Texans for Life, Texas Right to Life and Texas for Vaccine Choice.
Amy Akers (R) is a corporate transactions lawyer in Austin who has history in business transactions and litigation. Akers attended law classes in Beijing, China and has experience in working with multi-national projects. In her practice of law, Akers supports reliable, renewable and affordable energy.
Austin Talley (R) is focused on cutting property taxes, supporting property rights and reducing business regulations. Talley is an eighth generation Texan who has served in both the Navy and U.S. Army for a total of thirteen years. While serving in the Army, Talley spent time in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Additionally, Talley worked with the City of Austin where he advocated for a third-party auditor to investigate discrimination claims against the city.
Ken Strange (R) is known as the Director of the Wimberley EMS and a member of the Wimberley ISD Board of Trustees. While working with Wimberley EMS, Strange aided in providing pre-hospital emergency service in Wimberley Valley and western Hays County. In 2015, Strange was recognized for his response and results after helping during the Memorial Day Flood. Strange’s list of endorsements includes Former Hays County Commissioner Will Conley.
Naomi Narvaiz (R) currently serves on the Republican Party of Texas State Republican Executive Committee for Senatorial District 21. Narvaiz is a conservative who also founded the Hays County Republican Women’s Club and has served in numerous positions while working in San Marcos including CASA, Hays County Republican Women and Hays County Food Bank. Narvaiz’s major issues include anti-abortion advocacy, Second Amendment rights and lowering property taxes.