Race to Watch: House District 47

Rep. Paul Workman, R-Austin

Republican Paul Workman hopes voters in Texas House District 47 give him a second term on Tuesday. When he first ran for the seat in 2010, it stretched along Travis County’s southern edge, but redistricting has now expanded its size to fill up nearly the entire western half of the county – a very suburban section.

Republicans redrew HD 47 to secure most available GOP precincts in Travis County, which has historically leaned left. While this might be to the advantage of Workman – a construction businessman – some members of his own party have criticized the move, as it could make gaining another Republican seat in the area nearly impossible in the future.

Democratic HD 47 candidate Chris Frandsen

Still, his Democratic challenger, Chris Frandsen, is fighting hard, even if it is an uphill fight. The military vet once owned a teacher supply store, worked as an education account manager for Apple, and has two daughters who have taught in the Austin ISD. He feels this school background will come in handy in the upcoming session, as education funding will no doubt play a critical role.

Libertarian Nick Tanner is also running and has proposed using money from the Texas Lottery Commission to fund education. Both Tanner and Frandsen have criticized the $5.4 billion legislative cuts to education and their opponent’s role in that move.

Workman defended his part in a recent forum with “We have to learn to live with less,” referring to the significant shortfall lawmakers face when they entered last session.

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