Local News

Jul 15, 2013 5:54 PM by Andrew Ellison - aellison@kristv.com

Port Aransas Man Running for Governor

PORT ARANSAS - In the wake of Governor Perry's decision not to seek re-election, State Attorney General Gregg Abbott, and Port Aransas resident Tom Pauken have announced they'll seek the Republican nomination.

We sat down with Pauken today, who told us this election is a battle for the future of the party.

"We have to listen more to the forgotten Americans, the middle class taxpayers that don't have lobbyists in Austin," he says.

At the top of his list is education reform. He wants to put an end to the "Robin Hood" scheme of school funding.

"Let's find a better formula so that the property poor districts get the money they need and you can get it out of the rainy day fund or a slight increase in sales tax," he says.

He'd also like to see more emphasis on skills training, adding that he feels not every high school student is cut out for a four year university.

"Let's say hypothetically you teach a young person to be an electrician. A) They earn their way through college rather than getting a lot of debt, and secondly, they can go on if they want to be an electrical engineer," Pauken says.

But to make his changes, he'll have to beat a much more well-known and better funded candidate, State Attorney General Gregg Abbott.

"Oh sure. I'm the underdog... I came up middle class background. I don't think I ever forgot about my roots and I've been willing to say to the powerful, no. And sometimes its hard to politicians or people in politics to say no to powerful people," Pauken says.

In the meantime, Pauken has challenged Abbott to a series of debates. He'd like to have one of those debates in Corpus Christi.

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