Austonia AM

become a member

(Bob Daemmrich)

Two Austin City Council races—in Districts 6 and 10—are headed to a runoff election on Dec. 15. The city of Austin and the league of Women Voters Austin Area are co-hosting candidate forums for each race, both of which see an incumbent facing a conservative opponent.

The forums will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 30. Each will last around 45 minutes to an hour, with District 6 candidates kicking off the event.

Residents can tune in on ATXN, where the forums will air in English and Spanish; cable TV channel 6 and AT&T U-Verse channel 99; and KAZI FM 88.7. More details can be found here.

Elected council members will be tasked with rewriting the city's land use code, considering further cuts to the Austin Police Department's budget and implementing the $7.1 billion Project Connect transit plan.

District 6

(City of Austin, Mackenzie Kelly for Austin City Council/Facebook)

In District 6, Council Member Jimmy Flannigan is running against Mackenzie Kelly.

Flannigan won a plurality of votes—more than 40%—during the Nov. 3 election, but he needed 50% or more to avoid a runoff. His platform includes plans to address the pandemic, Austin's affordability crisis, traffic congestion and public safety reform. As a council member, he voted in favor of cutting APD's budget and other police reforms; overturning the city's camping ban; and Project Connect.

Kelly is a client care manager who ran against Flannigan in 2014. She earned 33% of the vote on Nov. 3 and opposes recent cuts to the police department budget and supports reinstating the camping ban. Her endorsements include Travis County GOP Chairperson Matt Mackowiak and former Austin City Council Member Ellen Troxclair.

Earlier this month, Kelly was photographed with "Back the Blue" supporters, critics of Austin Mayor Steve Adler, APD officers and protesters who displayed white supremacist hand signals. And last weekend, members of the Wind Therapy Freedom Riders motorcycle group, who were also in the photo, accosted Flannigan at a campaign event.

District 10

(City of Austin, Jennifer Virden for Austin City Council District 10/Facebook)

In District 10, Council Member Alison Alter is running against Jennifer Virden.

Alter faced six challengers during the Nov. 3 election and ultimately received the most votes, with 34.2% cast in her favor.

Alter describes herself as a progressive Democrat and has spent her time on council advocating for parks and preservationist land use policies. She supported the council's recent effort to reimagine public safety by reallocating police funds toward other city services and opposed the June 2019 decision to overturn the camping ban.

Virden, a real estate broken and general contractor, earned 25% of the vote. She opposes Project Connect, council's decision to overturn the camping ban and any effort to defund the police.

Other things to know

Early voting will run from Thursday, Dec. 3 through Friday, Dec. 11. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday through Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. A list of early voting polling locations can be found here.

Election Day is Tuesday, Dec. 15. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. A list of Election Day polling locations can be found here.

City council seats are nonpartisan, although all current members are affiliated with the Democratic Party. Austin residents can plug in their address to find their council district here.

The Dec. 15 runoff also includes races for District 5 and At-large Place 8 on the Austin ISD board.


Elon Musk joined Tesla's second quarter earnings call from the Giga Texas site in Southeast Travis County on Monday. (Bob Daemmrich)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced a record-setting second quarter during an earnings call broadcasted from the Giga Texas construction site in Southeast Travis County on Monday.

Keep Reading Show less

From top left clockwise, Joseph Chacon, Anna Kirkpatrick, Avery L. Moore, Emada E. Tingirides, Gordon Ramsay, Mirtha V. Ramos and Celeste Murphy are all finalist in the Austin police chief search. (City of Austin)

The city of Austin released a shortlist of seven candidates for the police chief position left vacant when Brian Manley retired in March.

Keep Reading Show less

Austin ISD is reintroducing virtual learning options for kindergarten through sixth grade students as COVID cases continue to rise. (Pexels)

Days after Austin began once again recommending masks in public spaces, Austin ISD announced Monday that kindergarten through sixth-grade classes will have virtual options this fall.

Keep Reading Show less