This story was updated at 11:30 p.m. with the final election results.
With all votes tallied, Council Member Alison Alter is headed to a runoff against her opponent, Jennifer Virden, in the race for her District 10 seat on Austin City Council.
Alter leds her six challengers, with 34.2% of the vote. But she needed 50% to avoid a runoff.
Virden received 25.43% of the vote.
The remaining five candidates are: Pooja Sethi, who received 18.11% of votes; Robert Thomas, with 16.62%; Belinda Greene, with 2.94%; Ben Easton, with 1.85%; and Noel Tristan, with 0.85%.
District 10 includes parts of West Austin and is the city's wealthiest district. It is one of five of Austin City Council's 10 seats up for election this year. In her next term, Alter will be tasked with the ongoing rewrite of the city's land use code, making 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.
Alter describes herself as a progressive Democrat and has spent her time on council advocating for parks and open spaces and preservationist land use policies. She supported the council's recent effort to reimagine public safety by reallocating police funds toward other city services but opposed the June 2019 decision to overturn the camping ban.
"As a city and a community I believe we should compassionately help our neighbors exit homelessness, and we should do so with a comprehensive strategy that addresses community concerns," she told Austonia last month. "I share the frustration with the current situation.
Alter outraised her opponents, with around $195,000 in donations, according to the latest round of campaign finance reports. Only Thomas broke the $100,000 mark, with $118,000 in political contributions reported.
Virden, a real estate broker and general contractor, opposes Project Connect, council's decision to overturn the camping ban and any effort to defund the police. She reported $94,000 in political contributions.
Sethi owns her own immigration law firm and ran on a platform that centered community-driven transit, such as Project Connect, and police reform. She supports the land use code rewrite process and council's decision to overturn the camping ban.
Sethi reported $92,000 in political contributions.
Thomas, an attorney who ran unsuccessfully for the seat in 2014, ran on a platform that included reinstating the police academy—which has been put on hold due to council members' concerns about the current curriculum— and bans on public camping, sitting, lying and nighttime panhandling.
Greene, who works in sales, opposes the Project Connect transit plan and council's decisions to overturn the camping ban and reallocate police funding to other city services. She reported $3,084 in political contributions.
Easton, a writer who ran unsuccessfully as a Libertarian candidate for the Texas House in 2016, was moved to run after council voted last year to overturn the camping ban and "witnessing the gutless surrender of the city to special-interest groups and anti-law and order mobs like the Black Lives Matter protesters and the Covid-19 autocrats," according to his campaign website.
Easton reported no political contributions.
Tristan, a business owner, has no campaign website and did not file any campaign finance reports.
Travis County saw record voter turnout this election, with 45,433 District 10 residents casting a ballot in this year's race, compared to 36,434 in 2016.
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UPDATE: The Lower Colorado River Authority has found potentially fatal bacteria in the Hudson Bend of Lake Travis, the same area where a dog was found dead after swimming in its waters.
A Sunday night shooting at a North Austin apartment complex has left one dead after being shot by an unknown suspect.
Austin police arrived at the scene of Midtown Commons at Crestview Station apartments at West St. Johns Avenue around 11:30 p.m., where they found a man with a gunshot wound. Police performed CPR but the man died shortly after. The identity of the victim has not been revealed.
Investigators talked to witnesses at the apartment complex and have a suspect in mind. No other information has been revealed at this time.
More vaccines could be headed to Austin as FDA greenlights single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine
This story was updated Monday to include that the vaccine received official approval by the FDA this weekend.
The Food and Drug Administration approved the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine that is to be shipped out this week, increasing the number of vaccines available.
In a virtual meeting on Friday, the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee unanimously approved of the U.S.'s third available COVID-19 vaccine, which was officially approved on Saturday. Federal officials say 4 million doses will go out nationally this week, with an expected 20 million doses to be available by the end of March. The Texas Department of State Health Services has said it expects to receive about 200,000 doses, but has not released a timeline of when doses will be shipped and available.