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Vanessa Fuentes wins Austin City Council District 2 race

This story was updated at 11:30 p.m. with the final election results.

With all votes tallied, Vanessa Fuentes won the race for the District 2 seat on Austin City Council, with 56.12% of votes.


Opponents Casey Ramos and David Chincanchan earned 19.79% and 19.08% of the vote, respectively. A fourth candidate, Alex Strenger, dropped out and endorsed Ramos but still received 5% of votes.

"The early voting numbers show my campaign as winning without a runoff," Fuentes said during a Facebook live at 9 p.m. "This campaign has received more than twice—more than twice—the amount of votes of any candidate in this race.

The winner will replace District 2 Council Member Delia Garza, who will vacate her seat to serve as Travis County attorney. She won the Democratic primary for the position in July, and there is no Republican candidate.

District 2 is one of five of Austin City Council's 10 seats up for election this year. Council members will be tasked with rewriting the city's land use code, considering further cuts to the Austin Police Department's budget, and—with voter approval of Proposition A—implementing the $7.1 billion Project Connect transit plan.

Fuentes is a progressive Democrat and works for the American Heart Association. Raised in Southeast Austin and a graduate of UT-Austin, she focused on health equity and housing affordability during the campaign period. She does not support the land code rewrite process and recently criticized the lack of support in place after council overturned its ban on public camping.

Fuentes raised about $57,000 over the campaign period.

Chincanchan is the former chief of staff for District 3 Council Member Pio Renteria. Raised in the Southeast Austin neighborhood of Dove Springs, he ran on a platform of increasing affordable housing and investing in public transit initiatives.

Ramos, a native Southeast Austinite, is a former elite boxer and community activist. He helped found local nonprofits such as Community Not Commodity, which staunchly opposes the land use code rewrite process in Austin, and Dove Springs Proud, a private Christian civic group. Ramos raised less than $6,000.

Ramos does not support council's decision to overturn the ban on public camping, which he told Austonia is a health and safety hazard. Instead, he supports investing in wrap-around services, such as housing and mental health care.

Chincanchan supports the land use code rewrite and council's June 2019 decision to lift a ban on public camping in Austin. "Criminalizing our unhoused neighbors is not just morally wrong, it is immensely counterproductive," he recently told Austonia.

Chincanchan raised the most among the District 2 candidates, with around $97,000 in donations as of the latest round campaign finance reports.

Travis County saw record voter turnout this election, with 26,376 District 2 residents casting a ballot in this year's race, compared to 14,999 in 2016.

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