On Thursday, yet another Republican candidate announced they would be challenging State Rep. John Cyrier (R-Lockhart) in the 2022 Republican primary election for Texas House District 17.

Cyrier was first elected in 2015 in a special election to serve the remainder of the term of former Republican State Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt. He currently serves as chairman of the Sunset Advisory Commission.

Cyrier has not yet made his re-election plans public.

Redistricting Sets the Stage

In the current district boundary configuration, District 17 includes Bastrop, Caldwell, Gonzales, Karnes, and Lee counties.

During the recently concluded special legislative session, District 17’s boundaries were altered to instead include Bastrop, Caldwell, Lee, Milam, and Burleson counties. It lost Gonzales County to District 44 and Karnes County to District 31.

Republican Challengers

On Thursday, Tom Glass announced his candidacy. Glass is a longtime activist and recent retiree from ExxonMobil. He manages an organization called Texas Constitutional Enforcement, which focuses on the federal violation of Texans’ rights and executive overreach, as well as a group called Protect the Texas Grid, which focuses on protecting the Texas energy grid from all hazards.

In announcing his candidacy, Glass said:

The globalists and Marxists who have seized power in D.C. are working to take everything Texans hold dear. We need leaders in Austin who will secure the rights of Texans and let Texans run Texas. These are not usual times, so we don’t need politics as usual.

Similarly, Jen Bezner from Smithville announced her candidacy a few weeks ago:

Our state representative, John Cyrier, has a dismal record of representing the residents of HD-17 and an equally lackluster record of supporting Texas GOP legislative priorities. I hear over and over across our district of how he is just absent: no townhalls, no open office hours, few personal responses to calls or emails.

In her announcement, Bezner also took issue with the lack of action by the Texas House of Representatives on Texas GOP legislative priorities:

Texans can’t afford another legislative session with no resolution on border security, high property taxes, gender modification of children, term limits, government overreach, parents’ rights in education, the cost of higher education, and a cessation of taxpayer funded lobbying.

Notably, Cyrier was a very brief candidate for speaker of the House last year, before he dropped out in a matter of hours and endorsed Republican State Rep. Genie Morrison (Victoria), who also had a short-lived campaign for the position.

Cyrier was one of 20 Republicans who voted with Democrat lawmakers against an amendment offered by Republican State Rep. Bryan Slaton (Royse City) that would have prevented puberty blockers from being administered as a part of legislation establishing a prescription drug savings program. It was one of only a few votes on attempts to prevent the gender modification of children, a legislative priority of the Texas GOP.

Cyrier also voted against another amendment by Slaton at the start of the legislative session that would have prevented Democrat House lawmakers from chairing House committees.

Other Candidates?

The candidate filing deadline for the 2022 election cycle is December 13, 2021. It is still possible that additional announcements for the position are forthcoming.

Jeramy Kitchen

Jeramy Kitchen serves as the Capitol Correspondent for Texas Scorecard as well as host of 'This Week in Texas', a show previewing the week ahead in Texas politics. After managing campaigns for conservative legislators across the state, serving as Chief of Staff for multiple conservative state legislators, and serving as Legislative Director for the largest public policy think tank in Texas, Jeramy moved outside of the Austin bubble to focus on bringing transparency to the legislative process.