Cedar Park City Councilman Tony Dale was the only hat thrown into the House District 136 Republican primary until the very last day of filing, but he will have an opponent in the Republican primary for newly created District 136. Austinite Paul B. Matthews filed paperwork March 9 to run with the Republican Party of Williamson County.
Matthews said he decided to run because he has a finance background, and he feels he has a skill set that would be valuable as a legislator. Through his job as the finance manager for the Travis County Sheriff's Office, Matthews said he manages a $130 million budget.
"I think our country is at a historic crossroads, and for too long we have elected people who say they're fiscally conservative when they're not," he said.
Dale announced his intent to run in September. Dale said he is seeking the office because he thinks it is important that someone with deep roots in the area with a conservative philosophy represent District 136.
"I've been working for 25 years as someone in the Republican Party who has helped candidates get elected so they can govern in a conservative way," Dale said. "I come into this role with a conservative philosophy of governing; to rely more on local government and with the general philosophy that smaller government is better."
Matthews said he has never run for office before, but he has served as a Republican precinct chair. His decision to run for office had nothing to do with Dale, he said, and was based on his concerns for the future.
"It's not about myself, it's not about Tony Dale, it's about the direction of the State of Texas," Matthews said.
Dale emphasized his experience working with the Texas Legislature in the past—working on issues such as tort reform and banning the designer drug K-2—and his understanding of the district.
"I think it's important to have deep roots in the community, and I have them," Dale said.