Cedar Park Council Mayor Pro Tem Mike Guevara is running for Texas House District 136 to challenge incumbent Texas Rep. John Bucy III (D-Austin) for the seat in the 2020 elections.
Guevara, a 20-year Cedar Park resident, officially filed his paperwork to run as a Republican on Aug. 8. This race will be his first run for higher elected office. Prior to this, he won his first elected seat to the Cedar Park Council in 2018 and was named Mayor Pro Tem in 2019.
Guevara said local leaders in Cedar Park and Williamson County reached out to him earlier this year about running, expressing concerns about their representation in Austin and the direction of economic growth in Cedar Park and Leander. He said he decided to run because he shares those concerns.
"Fiscal responsibility is also very important to me...Other (campaign) things that are important to me is right-to-life issues," Guevara said.
Guevara said he will be closely watching the impact of the Texas Legislature's recently passed cap on Texas cities' property taxes over the coming year to determine how he feels about it. However, he said he would support repealing it if the law is ultimately detrimental to Texas cities.
As part of his filings, he named former Cedar Park Council member Lyle Grimes as his treasurer, citing Grimes' prior political experience and how much Grimes' helped him win his council race. He said he hasn't selected his campaign staff yet.
Besides Bucy, Derrick Johns of Austin and Dave Jacobson of Cedar Park have filed to run for the seat.
Guevara earned his Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and History from Mid-America Nazarene University in 1996 and Doctor of Jurisprudence from The University of Texas School of Law in 1999. He worked as a legislative aide to a state representative in his third year as a law student.
He has represented cities throughout his legal career and is currently a partner in the law firm Shahan Guevara Decker Arrott. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas and the Texas City Attorney Association and is admitted to practice before the Texas State Courts and the United States District Courts for the Northern and Western Districts of Texas.
He said he feels he can differentiate himself in a primary race by bringing more hands-on experience working closely with cities, both as a lawyer and more recently as a council member, than any potential competitor.
Bucy's 2018 upset victory, which unseated former Republican incumbent Rep. Tony Dale, was part of the larger "blue wave" that resulted in Democratic candidates making unexpected inroads throughout the traditionally Republican-leaning Williamson County. The results drew national attention from political parties, who are watching the 2020 elections to see whether it was a fluke or a signal of new political trends.
"There's no doubt that the area is turning purple. It's not the Williamson County I moved into 20 years ago," Guevara said. "What I hope to bring to the table is the opportunity to work with all sides, find some common ground and work out somethings we can work on together."
He said he hopes to be able to attract Democratic voters by pushing non-partisan issues, such as being fiscally responsible, and using the same skills that helped him work across the aisle on the city council.