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District 4 voting guide: Meet the candidates to replace Greg Casar on city council

Early voting begins today for District 4 residents. (Austonia)

Election Day is here, in which District 4 residents will decide who will represent them on city council.

Making up part of northeast Austin, District 4 has been represented by Council Member Greg Casar since 2014. As he makes a bid for U.S. Congress in District 35, a Special Election is being held for who will take his seat on council. Seven candidates are running for this position.

Know before you go

On Election Day, the polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. There are seven polling locations for this election:

Only members in this district vote in this election. To know what council district you reside in, click here.

The registration to vote in this election has passed, to check if you are registered, click here.

Don't forget a valid photo ID to present at the polls.

Candidates on the ballot

There are seven candidates running for this position from all walks of life in Austin. Here's a little about them.

Jose "Chito" Vela

Vela is a local immigration and criminal defense attorney, who is an advocate of labor and immigrant rights. Working with each other on the Workers Defense Project, Vela has gained the endorsement of Casar.

Vela's platform includes a focus on:

  • the Project Connect light rail
  • the housing crisis
  • response to the February storm that resulted in the death of an estimated 702 Texans

Amanda Rios

Rios is a longtime Austinite who has worked as a bilingual teacher, she says. The Austin American-Statesman reports she has financially supported the political action committee Save Austin Now.

Her platform includes a focus on:

  • comprehensive public safety
  • ending homeless camping
  • affordability
  • bringing back the live music scene

Monica Guzmán

Guzmán has deep roots in the northeast Austin area, she says. She is the policy director of Go Austin/Vamos Austin (GAVA), an advocacy organization focused on community health outcomes. She has been endorsed by the Austin Chronicle and the Sierra Club.

Her platform focuses on:

  • Comprehensive social justice reform
  • Neighborhood stability
  • Fighting climate change

Jade Lovera

A lifelong northeast Austin resident, Lovera is the chief strategy officer for Women Who Werk, a nonprofit that provides resources for women to succeed.

Her platform includes a focus on:

  • investing in parks
  • community safety
  • improving infrastructure
  • homelessness and mental health investment

Melinda Schiera

Living in Austin since 2005, Schiera volunteered as vice-president and president of the North Austin Civic Association for the past 10 years. Melinda is a freelance marketing data analyst under her business Belt Out Loud Marketing.

Her platform includes a focus on:

  • affordable housing
  • infrastructure
  • public safety

Isa Boonto

An art teacher at Navarro Early College High School and Austin Mutual Aid organizer, Boonto wants to bring affordability concerns to the forefront of the conversation.

Boonto's plaform includes a focus on:

  • Support for Austin’s homeless population
  • Keeping current residents in their dwellings
  • Better partnerships between public and private entities

Ramesses II Setepenre

Returning after his run last year, rideshare driver Setepenre describes himself as a “self-funded, gay eco-socialist.” In the three-person race last year, Setepenre said he ran to represent people like himself and took home 8% of the vote.

Setepenre's platform focuses on:

  • Pro-Black, Brown, LGBTQIA+, Women’s rights, Indigenous rights
  • Pro-drug decriminalization
  • Healthcare for all
  • Living Wages
  • Green New Deal


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Austin political candidates have voting records too

When it comes to the 2022 Austin mayoral and City Council election set for Nov. 8, voters can examine the actual performance of the two incumbents seeking reelection. But what of the other 31 candidates whose names may be on the ballot and vying to be the new mayor or one of the five council members on the dais?

Aside from what these candidates say on the campaign trail, publish on their campaign websites, or post on social media, how do we judge their fitness for office? This article focuses on how much and how often each of the 33 candidates have participated in democracy by casting their votes at the ballot box.

Click here to read the full story from The Austin Bulldog.