When a candidate walks in sporting a professional resume as large as John Cyrier’s, one has to take note and wonder. For career politicians, such a list of leadership roles, board appointments and endorsements point to nothing more than cronyism and space-filling bluster to feign importance.
But for Cyrier— which is pronounced SEER-ee-ay for fans of phonetics—the list actually adds up. All signs point to a gentleman who is more interested in community service than political advancement.
Cyrier hails from Caldwell County where he and his wife Rachelle live on a ranch south of Lockhart. His political fact sheet touts many accomplishments for the 42 year-old—successful businessman, past county commissioner and former commander of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band. He now wishes to be State Representative for District 17, which includes Gonzales County.
His business career began after he received a degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Texas A&M University. A couple of stops in the general contracting business and branch office management led him to launch Sabre Commercial, Inc. in 2008, a commercial construction services company specializing in general contracting. It employs 51 people and has won numerous distinctions from the Austin Business Journal including a nomination for Best CEO Award in September.
“I surround myself with good people and I take care of them,” said Cyrier. The good working morale has led Sabre to three top-10 “Best Places to Work in Central Texas” designations from the Journal.
Cyrier’s political career began in 2010. There was a vacancy on the commissioner’s court in Caldwell County and longtime County Judge H.T. Wright, Jr., a Democrat, picked Cyrier based on his community accomplishments. The judge knew that he would take heat for the appointment since Cyrier was a Republican, but he saw a need to balance the court and invite all ideas to the table.
Turns out that Cyrier was only the second Republican to ever hold a seat on the court. Party designation didn’t matter to most voters, for he was elected outright later that year by 60 percent of the ballots and was named Judge Pro-Tem in 2012.
“I loved being a county commissioner,” he said.
Cyrier decided to serve out his term but opted not to run in the general election in 2012. He figured that he could do just as much good for the community away from the commissioner’s court than he could on it. The list of boards on which he currently serves include: Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO), Caritas of Austin, Lockhart ISD Education Foundation, Caldwell County Republican precinct chair—and the list goes on — prove just that.
During the Thanksgiving holiday he received a call from Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape. Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt had resigned and the county’s leadership was looking for a candidate to promote. One GOP candidate had already popped up in Bastrop, but they were looking for something more. They believed that Cyrier had the vision to be the district’s next leader.
With the added urging of longtime Bastrop County Commissioner Clara Beckett, Cyrier decided to run and continue his community service at the elected level. Soon he had a list of supporters that any candidate would envy.
There are three things that Cyrier lists as top priorities in the upcoming legislative session: education, water and infrastructure. Luckily for District 17, all three topics resonate throughout the five rural counties he would represent.
On education, Cyrier already counts superintendents from Bastrop, Smithville, Karnes, Lockhart, Gonzales and a host of other education professionals as supporting his candidacy.
He shows a strong command of the issues facing public schools in the state. His concerns are on elected officials that look to defund public education to send dollars elsewhere. Oftentimes school is the only place a child can eat a regular meal for breakfast, lunch— and more often now— even dinner.
Diverting public dollars would have an adverse affect on education, especially in communities like this one where the school system is the major employer. Cyrier looks to be a strong advocate for these independent school districts.
He also draws a parallel between the growth the district has seen based on underground resources—water to the north and oil to the south. Where Bastrop County has seen sprawl eat on its western flank, water developers look to siphon off the precious resource to far-flung housing developments throughout the I-35 corridor and down to San Antonio. Similar concerns can be seen here.
The other boom is down south with the shale explosion in the Eagle Ford. Gonzales County is experiencing growth and road degradation associated with this as is its neighbor to the south, Karnes County. Cyrier understands this and how public infrastructure funding is so important to the area.
Since all five counties in the district are still largely rural, he feels that the area shares the same challenges.
Cyrier’s story continues on a list of things from his help in flying airplane recognizance during the Bastrop and Delhi fires of 2011 and helping fundraise money for the people changed by those events to his piloting hobby and love of World War II aircraft. He lists a 1941 Stearman Biplane that is housed on his ranch as his “pride and joy.”
The election is now under two weeks away but he thinks that is to his advantage. He asks voters to review his list of supporters to get a good idea of where he stands on the issues and what his values are.
“I’m not here telling you what I’m going to do…I have a public record, I have a very public company— very open company— I have nothing to hide,” he said. “We’re citizens and we have businesses and we’re working people. I am not going to be a career politician. I’ve already proved that.”
The filing deadline for this race ended at 5 p.m. Monday. Four other candidates will join Cyrier on the ballot, and those four all hail from Bastrop. If you are looking for a local candidate to vote for on Jan. 6, Cyrier is the closest you will get.
More information on Cyrier can be found by visiting his website at www.johncyrier.com. There you can find a list of memberships he lists from the National Eagle Scout Association to the National Rifle Association and many other association affiliations.
As Cyrier departed from this office to the local Farm Bureau meeting, his phone rang with new endorsements from the Texas Farm Bureau Ag Fund and the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. Both will be added to his ever-growing portfolio. Not bad for a man that wishes to be a statesman rather than a politician.