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Underdog Politician Pays a Visit
Wednesday, May 29, 2013 • Posted June 5, 2013 • Updated June 5, 2013 12:24 PM

He’s practically an unknown against the big boys, but he’s seeking the top political job in Texas. Tom Pauken, former Chairman of the Texas Workforce Commission, has hard work in front of him, as he chases the Republican nomination for governor. The primary is in March 2014.

“There’s too much on auto pilot in Austin,” Pauken told The Llano News, May 28, at the gazebo on the Courthouse Square. He criticized alleged overuse of sound bites, and, “not getting things done.”

Pauken, who calls himself a Reagan Conservative, had a campaign stop in Brady, after his mid-afternoon conversation with Llano and Llano County residents. He has at least one tough hurdle in the primary. He’ll have to beat either Governor Rick Perry, or, possibly, if Perry doesn’t run one more time, then Attorney General Greg Abbott, or several other unannounced foes.

Pauken, born in Victoria, now living in Port Aransas, is a Vietnam veteran who was an agency director in the Reagan administration. One of his goals is to “get rid of Robin Hood.” This is where larger school districts—like Llano ISD—give money to less-affluent districts. Pauken claims the statewide tally is $1.1 billion. One alternative he presents: “We should expand the sales tax to replace Robin Hood.”

In another area of taxation, he wants property taxes lowered.

“We want a conservative (voice),” said Hugh Dawson of the Llano Tea Party. He and his wife, Patricia, indicated Pauken’s views are close to theirs. “You don’t want to go into a store and be offered only vanilla ice cream,” Patricia Dawson phrased it. “You want to look at all your options.”

Hugh’s summation was he wants term limits. Perry has been governor since 2000.

Tom Pauken acknowledged he is not as well-known as the incumbent or General Abbott, but he criticized the influence of special interests. He also knows he has to raise enough money to be competitive.

About this race against both men mentioned, Pauken emphasizes, “It’s nothing personal; we just have different styles.

“I want to unite the conservatives and take on the left.”

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