Just as quickly as the special election for state representative began, it ends on Tuesday with the selection of Gonzales County’s next representative to the Texas House.
Republican candidate John Cyrier, 41, of Lockhart, was in town Monday morning for a brief rally at the Roger M. Dreyer Memorial Airport to kick off early voting. He arrived by air in his Cessna Skylane II— which appropriately sported the colors red, white and blue.
Cyrier, a former Caldwell County commissioner, explained that if he were to wrap up 50 percent of the vote on Election Day, the race would not need to go into overtime with a runoff. His jump across the district that morning was to “rally the troops in all five counties.”
For those looking to beat the mad rush at the polls on Tuesday, early voting does run today until 4:30 p.m. at the Gonzales County Courthouse Annex at 1709 Sarah DeWitt Dr. It’s the building across the highway from Bealls.
Signs and literature for Cyrier’s opposition have already made their way into Gonzales yards and mailboxes. Joining him is one more from the GOP, two Democrats and an Independent.
The other Republican in the race, Brent Golemon, 46, of Bastrop, got a taste of politics early in life. Golemon worked as a legislative aide and chief-of-staff at the capitol after graduating Hampden-Sydney College while his father was a 35-year lobbyist in Austin.
Golemon co-founded GalleryWatch, the nation’s first online legislative tracking service in 1996, which was sold eight years later. His current occupation is listed as “entrepreneur.”
The closest Golemon gets The closest Golemon gets to an elected office credential is a stint on the Tahitian Village Property Owners Association and a board appointment to the Bastrop County Water District. In his spare time, he enjoys coaching six-man football at a Christian-based athletics program for home-schooled and private school families.
The first of two Democrats on the ballot is Ty McDonald, 43, also of Bastrop. She is a 1993 graduate of Texas A&M University and is married to former Bastrop County Judge Ronnie McDonald.
McDonald’s early education into elected public service was as legislative director for State Rep. Yvonne Davis in the early 90s. She also served as campaign coordinator for John Sharp during his failed bid for comptroller.
After serving as a public school teacher for seven years, she was elected to a single term to the board of the Bastrop Independent School District. Her last year was served as president of that body.
After flirting with a run for state rep earlier this year, McDonald switched races to challenge incumbent Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape. She lost that contest in November.
The other Democrat is Shelley Cartier, 51, yet another candidate from the Bastrop area. Her business card describes her as a non-politician and small business owner.
On the issues, she supports local control and small growth. Public education is also in her platform and she says she is a “defender of property and water rights for all.”
In her spare time she advocates for the humane treatment of animals and hosts several rescue horses on her property.
Rounding out the list is the lone Independent candidate, Linda Curtis, 63, the final Bastrop resident. Her tagline is “If you can’t join ‘em, beat ‘em!”
Curtis is a longtime community activist who helped found Independent Texans, a political action committee for independent and non-aligned voters. They tout a record of having endorsed candidates from multiple parties.
Curtis, who describes herself as an independent populist, has been focusing lately on what she calls “Texas water grabs” in the Bastrop County area. Protecting that vital underground resource and defending private property rights is her main objective.
Of note, she also contributed her talents to the recent municipal elections in Austin.
Election Day is Tuesday, Jan. 6. Gonzales County will have consolidated polling places at six locations and will be open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. They are:
•Pcts. 1, 14, 15: Gonzales County Courthouse
•Pcts. 2, 11: Gonzales Master Gardener’s Building, 623 N. Fair St.
•Pcts. 3, 5, 7, 8: City Building, 820 St. Joseph Street
•Pcts. 4, 6, 10, 13: Gonzales Co. Nixon Annex, 603 E. Central, Nixon
•Pct. 9: Waelder Community Center
•Pct. 12: J.B. Wells Show Barn
If no candidate reaches the 50 percent threshold, a runoff election will be called within 30 days of Tuesday. As Cyrier explained at his rally, that would be one month without Gonzales County having representation once the Legislature convenes the week after.