BEXAR COUNTY, Texas – Two Republicans are vying for their party’s nomination in the race to fill outgoing Texas House Speaker Joe Straus’ District 121 seat.

Steve Allison and Matt Beebe are duking it out for a chance to represent the North Bexar County district.

After 13 years, Straus announced that he would not run for re-election, making his seat up for grabs. Stretching from Olmos Park and beyond 1604 to the county’s Northeast Side, voters are now are deciding which Republican candidate will make it to the November ballot.

Beebe is generally viewed as the more conservative candidate.

“Government ought to be there to protect and defend life and liberty – and get out of the way and let us pursue our own happiness,” Beebe said. 

The small business owner and Air Force veteran unsuccessfully ran against Straus twice. However, Beebe said he remains confident that he is the right choice to fight for conservative values at the Capitol.

“I side with the 80 percent of Republicans who believe we should move away from the property tax for school funding – more towards consumption tax. My opponent, he mocked that – called people thought that was a good idea insane,” said Beebe.

Transportation, education, and border security are also at the top of Beebe’s priorities.

“If you don’t have a secure border, you don’t have a country, but here in Texas, we’re still driving our dollars – your tax dollars, my tax dollars, our sales tax revenue, and we’re subsidizing a lot of things here – like tuition for illegal immigrants at the colligate level. We’re also driving a lot better health care support for them in our county hospitals than really we’re giving our veterans in some cases,” Beebe said. 

FULL COVERAGE: Decision 2018

Business attorney and former Alamo Heights Independent School District school board member Steve Allison has the support of Straus to replace him.

“I think Joe did a good job, but I like his approach to governance, legislation, trying to bring people together and accomplish things – [he's] a good listener. I think that’s a good leadership quality that I bring as well as he did,” Allison said. 

Like his opponent, Allison said he is committed to property tax relief, border security and education.

“I’m a strong believer in vocational education. I think we’re in a perfect position right now, timing-wise, and we can look at that and reform education; provide more opportunities for kids that are at risk of dropping out,” Allison said. 

Allison said his background and experience sets him apart from his opponent.

“I’ve been in this district, served it well, I believe, for over 45 years. I’ve been public servant for over 20 years – school board, on VIA Metropolitan Transit Authority board, Texas Association of School Boards. I’ve brought some valuable experience from those experiences, but more than just the experience, it’s the delivery that I brought, that we accomplished those things,” Allison said. 

READ MORE: Capital Tonight

The winning GOP candidate will take on Democrat Celina Montoya in November.

Early voting runs through Friday, May 18. Runoff Election Day is  May 22. Spectrum News will provide full coverage of the runoff election on air and online.