BASTROP COUNTY, Texas — Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape announced that he will run for Texas House District 17, which includes Bastrop, Burleson, Caldwell, Lee and Milam Counties.
Pape has served as Bastrop County judge since 2012 and was reelected in 2014 and 2018. He currently serves as chair of the Capital Area Council of Governments and the Juvenile Probation Board.
In the release announcing his run, Pape cites his experience in helping Bastrop County recover from six federally-declared natural disasters, like devastating wildfires and floods.
"Leading major response and recovery efforts and making our community safer and more resilient has proven among the most challenging yet rewarding experiences of my life," Pape said. "Doing this while also working to grow our local economy, preserve our quality of life, and pass fiscally conservative county budgets has prepared me to be an effective advocate for the families and communities of our district."
Pape also shares his experience overseeing the county budget, saying he has lowered the property tax rate and substantially increased financial support for law enforcement during his time as judge.
The judge's announcement comes just over a month after current Texas District 17 representative Rep. John Cyrier (R-Lockhart) said he would not seek reelection in 2022. Cyrier has been a member of the Texas House since 2015.
"After nearly 15 consecutive years of public service to my county, region and state, I have decided not to seek re-elections to the Texas House," Cyrier said in a letter. "Serving the communities throughout District 17 has truly been a privilege and something I will always cherish. I am immensely proud of the work we have accomplished and believe the time is right to embark on new opportunities."
The Texas Secretary of State website lists four total candidates who have filed to run for Texas House District 17, two as Democrats and two as Republicans. The Democratic candidates include Madeline Eden and Josh Tutt, while the Republican candidates are Jen Bezner and Thomas Glass.
The primaries take place on March 1, 2022, with the General Election on Nov. 8, 2022.
Pape will continue to serve as county judge through 2022, when his current term expires.
Pape and his wife, Barb, own and manage more than 300 acres of ranchland in McDade and Smithville, including a cow-calf operation and breeding miniature horses. The two previously owned Bastrop RV Park. Pape also worked as a water and wastewater utility manager at the Lower Colorado River Authority for 10 years.
Pape is an ordained minister and has been for 10 years. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University and has been married to his wife for 50 years. The two have raised three children and have six grandchildren. They have lived in Bastrop County since 1983.
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