Paul Workman secures GOP nomination in Travis County Texas House race


State Rep. Paul Workman on Tuesday secured the Republican nomination in state House District 47 which encompasses western Travis County.

Workman, who was elected to the Legislature in 2011, won 59.5 percent of the vote, ahead of business owner Jay Wiley who had 31.2 percent and Patty Vredevelt, a retired nurse, who had 9.3 percent.

Although Workman won the endorsement of Gov. Greg Abbott months ago, Wiley has said Workman’s voting record isn’t conservative enough. Wiley, who ran against Workman in the 2016 Republican primary, said that Workman supported an increase in the local hotel occupancy tax and increasing taxes on nursing home patients. He also pointed to Workman’s initial vote against an amendment that bans third-trimester abortions during the last regular legislative session. Workman later changed his vote.

READ: In Austin-area House race, candidates’ party loyalties at question

Workman has defended his record, saying the hotel industry in Austin supported the occupancy tax increase because it would raise money to promote tourism. He also said he supported a tax on nursing homes, not on their clients.

“Congratulations to my good friend Paul Workman on an outstanding primary victory. I look forward to working with you next session to cut property taxes in Texas,” Abbott said in video posted on social media on Tuesday night.

If re-elected, Workman said he plans on continuing to curb cities like Austin from exerting too much control over their residents and businesses. He said he’ll work on overturning the Austin City Council’s recent decision to require all nongovernmental employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees.

Democratic primary, House District 47

Real estate broker Vikki Goodwin, who received 33.6 percent of the vote, will face Elaina Fowler, who won 29.2 percent of the vote, in the May 22 runoff.

Fowler is the executive director of the Chapter 12 Texas retirees of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. She previously worked as a staff member for former Austin City Council Member Sheryl Cole and chief of staff for state Rep. Helen Giddings, D-DeSoto.

Goodwin’s loyalty to the Democratic party was called into question during the campaign. She had supported Republican Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty in 2012 while she was Democratic Party precinct chairwoman.

Goodwin said voters haven’t asked her about Daugherty and that she’s running on things they care about like fixing the school funding system. If elected she said she would ensure that commercial properties pay their fair share of property taxes.

In addition to supporting Medicaid expansion and stopping “reckless developments” that hurt the environment, Soltes said she wants to increase the state’s share of school funding from about 40 percent to 60 percent and divert some of the money spent on fortifying the Texas-Mexico border to public schools.

READ A ROUNDUP OF ALL RESULTS FROM STATE LEGISLATIVE RACES IN CENTRAL TEXAS



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