Early voting kicks off for City of Austin runoff election

Early voting kicked off Thursday for the runoff elections in Austin. On the ballot, voters will find candidates running for mayor and several city council seats.

There are a total of four races happening in this runoff election in the City of Austin. This included District 3, District 5, District 9, and Austin Mayor.

City of Austin Mayor:

  • Celia Israel
  • Kirk Watson

District 3:

  • Jose Velasquez
  • Daniela Silva

District 5:

  • Ryan Alter
  • Stephanie Bazan

District 9:

  • Zohaib "Zo" Qadri
  • Linda Guerrero

In the November election, none of the candidates listed on the runoff ballot were able to successfully receive more than 50% of the vote. This election will determine who will take those four open seats.

Early voting began December 1st and will run until December 9th with Election Day on December 13th. Thursday, the candidates for mayor made an effort to get out to the polls and spread the word about the election.

Celia Israel and Kirk Watson were the two out of six candidates to come out of the November election for mayor and head into a runoff.

Israel got 40% of the vote. She is running on being a voice to the working class. If elected, she says her main goal is to make Austin a more affordable city for all.

"I'm a Latina, I’m a member of the LGBT community, I'm a working-class chick. My wife works at H-E-B. We're not wealthy. I want people to know that I am just like them. I come from a working-class background. Dad was a truck driver and mom was a teacher's aide from the border. I'm beating the odds," she said.

As for Watson, he got 35% for the vote in November's election. He is running on experience. Watson was the mayor of Austin before back in the late 90's and says he is the best man for the job because of that.

"In Austin right now, people are very concerned that City Hall's not taking care of the fundamentals, things like traffic and crime, housing affordability and what we need and our homeless population, so they're looking for someone that has a proven record of leadership. They know that we don't have any time to screw around. We've got to get to work on this," he said.