HD 47: Rep. Valinda Bolton (D) vs. Paul Workman (R)

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Ed. note: The following is one of twenty races we are featuring in the Texas Political Report. Annie's List provided research and analysis for this race.

Candidate Pages: Rep. Valinda Bolton website, on Facebook, on Twitter
Candidate Pages: Paul Workman website, on Facebook, on Twitter

District Overview: The Numbers, The Issues, and the Candidates

District  47 is located in the southwest portion of Travis County and is home to both working families in middle-class neighborhoods and some very “nice” upper middle class neighborhoods. Although the district includes parts of traditionally “blue” Austin, it incorporates several large conservative neighborhoods in western Travis County. Though Democrats handily outnumber Republicans in the county, Bolton won her last two elections by narrow margins, so the race will definitely be one to watch. Pocketbook issues regarding jobs and education are important here, along with water issues in an area that includes communities around Lake Travis.

Republican Paul Workman is a prototypical Republican who doesn't stand out in any major way, but that could work for him. Bolton has done an excellent job securing support from female voters in recent years, and she should expect to do that again. On local issues, there is relatively little to use to challenge Rep. Bolton. Republicans are hoping to run this campaign much like the suburban races in Dallas and Harris county, focusing on national issues and ignoring the local races that matter to voters.

Why Rep. Valinda Bolton Returns Next Year

Obama won the district with a strong 54.1% in 2008, which means it’s still essentially a Democratic seat to lose. Rep. Bolton has built a strong record in her years in the legislature and has her own team running an aggressive and far-reaching field plan, as well as coordinated campaigns across the county working to protect her.

June 30 Campaign Finance Report:

HD 47: Bolton vs. Workman Contributions
Cash on Hand
Rep. Valinda Bolton (D)
$128,484 $36,737 $119,864
Paul Workman (R)
$100,244 $89,981 $66,923
Bolton's Advantage
$28,240 $52,941



About Author

Phillip Martin

Currently the Research and Policy Director for Progress Texas and the Texas Research Institute, Phillip Martin writes occasional long-form pieces for BOR that promote focused analysis and insight into Texas politics. Born and raised in Austin, Phillip started working in politics in 2003 and started writing on BOR in the summer of 2005. Phillip has worked for the Texas Democratic Trust, the Texas Legislative Study Group, and now the Progress Texas family. He is a lifelong Houston Astros fan, a loyal Longhorn, and loves swimming at Barton Springs Pool.

1 Comment

  1. Going to be tight
    Obama may have pulled 54%, but most Dems had much smaller margins in 2008. Many were under 50%, but prevailed due to Libertarians spoilers. Noriega was 1.2% over Corndog, Bolton 2.4% over Keel. Without Obama pumping turnout, this will be a much tougher race. Unlike 2008, there is a Lib on the ballot, but he seems about as active a campaigner as Gene Kelly.

    Don't assume Valinda is safe here. Lend a hand if you are in the district.

    BTW – candidate forum tomorrow night at the ACC Pinnacle campus 7-9 PM.

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