(City of Austin)

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

With all votes tallied, Austin Council Member Greg Casar has been reelected to his District 4 seat on Austin City Council, having received 66.85% of votes.


Opponents Louis C. Herrin III and Ramesses II Setepenre earned 24.74% and 8.41% of the vote, respectively.

District 4, which includes northeast and north central Austin, is one of five of Austin City Council's 10 seats up for election this year. In his next text, Casar will be tasked with the ongoing rewrite of 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.

As a council member, Casar has supported all of the above initiatives and been a force for progressive policies, championing a paid sick leave ordinance that was passed by council but later blocked by the Texas Supreme Court. He also authored the "Freedom City" policies, which significantly curbed discretionary misdemeanor arrests.

Casar was also a vocal supporter of council's decision to overturn its camping ban, which he said was a critical step toward decriminalizing homelessness.

"We know it's wrong to throw someone in jail for doing nothing wrong other than simply being homeless," he recently told Austonia.

Casar outraised his opponents by a wide margin, with $134,000 in donations, according to the latest round of campaign finance reports.

Herrin is a long-time environmental engineer with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality who ran unsuccessfully against Casar in 2016 and 2014. He opposes the current council's push to reimagine public safety by reallocating police funds to other city services.

Herrin is also against council's decision to overturn the camping ban, which he told Austonia did nothing to address homelessness while making it less safe for people who work and live downtown.

Herrin raised around $30,000.

Setepenre is a licensed massage therapist. On his campaign's Facebook page, he describes himself as a "self-funded, gay eco-socialist" who supports sex workers, the decriminalization of drugs, universal healthcare and reparations.

In an interview with Community Impact Newspaper, Setepenre said he has experienced homelessness and believes the city needs to address the origins of homelessness, such as substance use and lack of familial support.

Travis County saw record voter turnout this election, with 17,285 District 4 residents casting a ballot in this year's race, compared to 12,035 in 2016.

The challenge for all of us this Thanksgiving is letting go of what we've lost in this tough year and treasure what we still have.

We at Austonia are thankful for you. Since we launched our site in April, we've done our best to connect you to Austin, with stories ranging from the important to the delightfully superficial. Your response has been strong and we are grateful.

At this time of thanks, we have a variety of stories for you. Laura Figi writes about "a greener holiday," food trends, and Friday shopping. Emma Freer writes about a nearby annual Native American heritage celebration. And Roberto Ontiveros brings us a thoughtful piece that looks at the human toll of Austin's gentrification—the often painful flip side to having shiny new bars, restaurants, and apartments—in this case it's displacement of the Black community on East 11th Street. Finally, we ask you how you're celebrating the holiday this year.

Our best to you and your loved ones!

—The Austonia Team

You can now buy earrings designed by UT students at Kendra Scott

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