AUSTIN, Texas - Five city council seats were there for the taking on Election Night in Austin. How did things play out?
In District Two, Vanessa Fuentes prevailed over three opponents, winning 56 percent of the vote there. “We ran a grassroots campaign, we were able to make thousands of calls and thousands of texts and make connections with people we seek to serve,” she said.
Fuentes will take the seat when Delia Garza moves to the county attorney role. District Two is the only race thus far which has a new face confirmed.
“Our community wants change. We want someone with a fresh perspective who isn't beholden to powerful special political forces and someone who prioritizes our community first,” she said.
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Incumbent Greg Casar won his reelection bid for district four, vowing to continue the work he started years ago.
“It looks like a landslide win. I think the people in Austin want to see us continue pushing a progressive agenda and not to see us get bullied or pushed back by the governor or other anti-Austin politicians,” said Casar.
Casar is hoping to immediately tackle major issues he believes the city faces. “I believe our top priorities need to be recovering from COVID-19, building this mass transit system that the voters just finished approving, and then making us a less economically and racially segregated city,” he said.
In District Seven, Leslie Pool kept her seat, winning by a landslide of more than 60 percent. She says she's grateful for her voters.
“I don't ever take anything for granted. I now in my third run for this seat, have always given it 100 percent. This year was different because of obvious reasons, the pandemic and not being able to campaign in person. It added a level of difficulty in connecting with voters,” said Pool.
In Districts Six and Ten, where Jimmy Flannigan and Alison Alter hold seats, there will be runoffs.
“Those were not surprises just given those are swing districts. This is not a partisan race, city council, but still if you look at how people's political leanings go in those two districts, they are pretty well split,” said Sherri Greenberg, Professor of Practice, UT-Austin LBJ School of Public Affairs.
Greenberg has been watching this election closely.
“I think the surprising race was in fact District Two. David Chincanchan was thought to have the upper hand, given his fundraising and deep roots in the district. In fact, there wasn't even a runoff,” said Greenberg.
The runoff for Alison Alter vs Jennifer Virden and Jimmy Flannigan vs. Mackenzie Kelly will happen on Dec.15.