Two local attorneys—Democrat Andy Brown and Republican Michael Lovins—have been selected by their respective political parties to compete for the position of Travis County judge this November.
Brown and Lovins will race to replace Sarah Eckhardt, who resigned as county judge in March, less than two years into her second term, to run for the seat vacated by State Senator Kirk Watson (D-Austin). Because there was no primary election date scheduled between Eckhardt's resignation and the Nov. 3 general election, the local political parties—and not registered voters—determined the nominees.
The Travis County Democratic Party's 136 precinct chairs voted on Sunday, with nearly 56% voting in favor of Brown. The other two candidates were Travis County Precinct 1 Commissioner Jeff Travillion and former Travis County Democratic Party Chair Dyana Limon-Mercado.
The Travis County GOP's executive committee voted last week to allow its chairman, Matt Mackowiak, to appoint a nominee, and they announced Lovins' candidacy on Monday.
The county judge serves as chief executive of the county and oversees the Commissioners Court. The office functions similarly to that of a city's mayor.
Former Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe has been serving in the role in an interim capacity.
Andy Brown is the Democratic nominee for Travis County judge.(Andy Brown)
Brown is the founder of law firm Andy Brown & Associates and previously served as a senior adviser to Beto O'Rourke and campaign manager for U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett.
In a statement issued after the vote, Travis County Democratic Party Chair Katie Naranjo said, "Our next County Judge will have huge shoes to fill after the departure of now-Senator Eckhardt—Andy's broad experience as an accomplished attorney and his tireless dedication to Democratic values leaves me confident they will serve our county well."
Brown ran against Eckhardt for the position of county judge in 2014; Eckhardt won nearly 63% of the vote that year and was reelected in an uncontested race in 2018.
Michael Lovins is the Republican nominee for Travis County judge.(Travis County GOP)
Lovins is a founding partner of the personal injury law firm Lovins Trosclair and a member of the Federalist Society, a highly influencial national organization of conservative and libertarian lawyers.
In a statement shared by the Travis County GOP, Lovins said his day-one priority, if elected, will be to propose "a budget that fully funds our county sheriff's office and expands county law enforcement patrols within the city of Austin."
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Elon Musk has placed an order for a new, top-of-the-line private jet: a Gulfstream G700, Austonia has learned. Delivery is expected in early 2023.
Billed as offering “the most spacious cabin in history,” the aircraft seats 19 and soars above the rest of us at up to 51,000 feet. Base price: $78 million.
The Gulfstream G700 was awarded the 2022 International Yacht & Aviation Award for excellence in cabin design this year. (Gulfstream)
According to the Gulfstream website, the G700 can fly up to 7,500 nautical miles without refueling, enough range to fly nonstop from Austin to Hong Kong. Powered by two Rolls-Royce engines, it has its own Wi-Fi system, 20 oval windows measuring 28” x 21”, and two lavatories.
The sweet new ride will replace his current top-of-line private jet: a 2015 Gulfstream G650, the aircraft that has been made somewhat famous by the automated @elonjet Twitter account, which tracks and reports his personal aircraft’s movements using public data.
Landed in Austin, Texas, US. Apx. flt. time 44 Mins. pic.twitter.com/jZ7HI0i4iV
— ElonJet (@ElonJet) June 24, 2022
Musk has repeatedly championed “free speech” as a guiding ethic in his planned purchase of Twitter. Last December, Musk offered the teenager who built the @elonjet tracker $50,000 to shut it down, citing security concerns. It’s still up.
According to the @elonjet account, Musk’s jet last traveled to Austin, where it’s been since June 23. The associated data says that his flight to Austin burned $2,573 worth of aviation fuel and discharged 4 tons of carbon dioxide.
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