The only House district in Travis County that consistently votes Republican now has a challenger in the mix.

State Rep. Paul Workman (R-Austin), who represents HD-47, will face a primary challenger in the form of Jay Wiley. This will be Wiley’s second time running against Workman, who represents much of Southwest Travis County. Wiley was defeated in 2016 by the long time representative after Workman ran a nasty and deceptive campaign.

Wiley says he is re-launching his campaign on the basis that he will better reflect the people of his district, and the grassroots movement that Workman has all but forgotten during his time at the Capitol.

“This special session shined a light onto the fact that there are two sides, and that is what this primary will come down to, two sides,” Wiley stated. “Are you on the side of Joe Straus and his crony leadership team, or are you on the side of the grassroots movement? There are people empowering Speaker Straus and Paul Workman is absolutely one.”

If his voting record is any indicator, Workman has indeed long been on the side of Speaker Straus and his cronies. Since entering the legislature, he ranks as one of the most liberal Republicans in the Texas House, earning an “F” on the Empower Texans Fiscal Responsibility Index in both 2015 and 2013. He has voted to re-elect Speaker Straus to his position twice, a fact that Wiley echoed in his announcement earlier this week.

To add to his liberal voting record, Workman has a reputation of taking to disgusting and pathetic personal attacks in the past in order to not have to defend a lackluster voting record far out of touch with taxpayers.

In the city of Austin, it is important that conservatives elect a Representative who is going to make the short trip to the Capitol and defend them against not only the crony politicians in the Capitol, but also the city that looks for every given opportunity to tax them.

During his tenure, Workman has abandoned both charges, choosing instead to simply be a pocketed vote for Joe Straus. HD-47 is considered to be a largely safe Republican district and its representation will likely be decided in the Texas Republican Primary in March.

Austin Goss

Austin Goss is the Capitol Correspondent for Empower Texans and Texas Scorecard. Hailing from Louisville, Kentucky, Austin is a Christian, soldier in the United States Army Reserves, and a student at the University of Texas at Austin. Follow Austin on Twitter @AG_Legacy