Nearly $60K raised in Austin District 4 council race 1 month before election

Candidates in Austin's City Council District 4 special election have spent thousands of dollars on campaigning ahead of election day. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Candidates in Austin's City Council District 4 special election have spent thousands of dollars on campaigning ahead of election day. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Candidates in Austin's City Council District 4 special election have spent thousands of dollars on campaigning ahead of election day. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Tens of thousands of dollars have poured into the seven-person race for Austin's District 4 City Council seat, according to campaign finance reports filed with the city in December.

As of one month before election day Jan. 25, lawyer José "Chito" Vela is outpacing his six competitors by a wide margin in both campaign spending and contributions. Vela, who previously spent time as an Austin planning commissioner and city manager in El Cenizo, reported receiving more than $41,000 from dozens of individuals last year, including a donation from Mayor Steve Adler.

Educator Amanda Rios had raised the second-highest total with more than $11,000 in contributions reported. Rios was followed by candidates Monica Guzmán and Jade Lovera with $5,053.33 and $1,765.00 raised, respectively.


Marketing data analyst Melinda Schiera reported $358.73 in contributions, while artist and art educator Isa Boonto did not report any contributions. A report from Ramesses II Setepenre was not filed online. Most contributions to each candidate topped out at $400.

All individual contributions to District 4 candidates' spending ranged from hundreds to thousands of dollars reportedly used for consulting, advertising, accounting, printing and other campaign costs. Candidates are next required to file campaign finance reports Jan. 18.
By Ben Thompson

Austin City Hall Reporter

Ben joined Community Impact Newspaper in January 2019 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Northeastern University in Boston. He spent more than two years reporting on Montgomery County and The Woodlands area before moving to Austin in 2021 to cover City Hall and other news throughout the city. Contact Ben with questions, tips or feedback at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @BThompson_CI.