Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt set to pass baton to interim replacement Sam Biscoe on May 13

A photo of Sarah Eckhardt
Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt resigned from her position to prepare for a run for the Texas Senate District 14 seat. She will continue as a holdover until May. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)

Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt resigned from her position to prepare for a run for the Texas Senate District 14 seat. She will continue as a holdover until May. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)

Update: March 25, 11:05 a.m.

Soon-to-be interim Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe will take his oath of office May 13, according to a March 24 press release from Travis County. Biscoe said he plans to appoint current Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt as his emergency management assistant, allowing her to spearhead the county's response to COVID-19, and that her continued work as judge through May 13 would help "maintain continuity in [Travis County's] emergency response efforts]."

“We need all hands on deck to protect the health and safety of our public,” Eckhardt said. “I am honored and willing to continue my public service in any capacity and look forward to once again work with incoming Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe as we all do our parts to combat the spread of COVID-19.”

Original post: Mach 23, 8:10 p.m.

Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt said in a March 23 press call that she would remain in her role with the county for the time being, despite officially resigning on March 10 to prepare for a state Senate run. Previously, March 23 had been floated as the date Eckhardt's interim replacement, former Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe, would be sworn in.


"I could not have foreseen what I am now experiencing and what we are now experiencing as a county," Eckhardt said, referring to the county's response to the spread of novel coronavirus.

According to Eckhardt, Biscoe reached out to her and proposed holding off his swearing-in so Eckhardt could continue to serve "as a holdover during this crisis."

The election for the seat Eckhardt has announced her candidacy for—state Sen. Kirk Watson's vacated District 14 post—has been postponed to July 14, as announced by Gov. Greg Abbott on March 17.

Eckhardt did not give a new date for Biscoe's swearing-in, but the topic is expected to be explored further at the March 24 meeting of the Travis County Commissioners Court, per a county communications officer.
By Olivia Aldridge
Olivia is the reporter for Community Impact's Central Austin edition. A graduate of Presbyterian College in upstate South Carolina, Olivia was a reporter and producer at South Carolina Public Radio before joining Community Impact in Austin.


MOST RECENT

The Office of Police Oversight released its first comprehensive report detailing its operations though 2019 and 2020 this June. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Office of Police Oversight report finds complaints against Austin police officers went up, but discipline fell in 2020

The new report centers on the office's three main functions, including tracking APD officer discipline, reviewing the city's police policies, and engaging with Austin residents.

Volunteers of Austin Vaccine Angels gathered after becoming fully vaccinated. (Courtesy Jodi Holzband)
Grassroots groups aimed at vaccine outreach look toward the future

For the past five months, grassroots volunteer groups have been working to connect thousands of Central Texans to COVID-19 vaccines.

A 10-week construction project on North Pleasant Valley Road begins June 21. (Courtesy Fotolia)
North Pleasant Valley Road construction project in East Austin begins June 21

The project, funded by a 2018 Bond, will cause some lane closures

Washington Prime Group Inc. owns six area shopping centers, including The Arboretum. (Courtesy The Arboretum)
Owner of Austin-area shopping centers files for bankruptcy; entertainment complex coming to Cedar Park and more top area news

Read the top business and community news from the past week from the Central Texas area.

Photo of a woman and girl walking the trail with the Austin skyline behind them
Travis County commits to electrify fleet, doubles down on climate goals

Commissioners directed staff this week to develop a plan to fully electrify Travis County's fleet of vehicles, a leading source of greenhouse gas emissions for the county.

The Bloomhouse—an 1,100-square-foot home in the hills of West Austin—was built in the 1970s by University of Texas architecture students for fellow student Dalton Bloom. It was featured in the Austin Weird Homes Tour of 2020. (Brian Perdue/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin Weird Homes Tour ends; Z’Tejas to close Arboretum restaurant and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

The downtown Austin tower is 57% leased as of mid-June. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
Downtown Austin's Indeed Tower sells to California real estate and development company in $580M deal

The newly-completed 36-story tower sold to Kilroy Realty Corp. for $580 million.

Austin's downtown Palm District is home to several modern and historic landmarks, including the Palm School building now home to Travis County offices. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Residents lay out priorities for new Palm District area plan with project's engagement period underway

Through the planning process, feedback from Austin community members will contribute to the drafting of a Palm District Small Area Plan to be finalized and adopted by city officials next year.

Project Connect's proposed Orange Line will run from Tech Ridge, through downtown Austin and to Slaughter Lane. (Rendering courtesy Project Connect)
Project Connect Orange Line design reveals proposed locations for rail stations in North, South Austin

The latest Orange Line design shows potential elevated rail line over I-35, as well as options for the Drag.

Photo of a weird home
Austin's Weird Homes Tour says goodbye—for now

The tour's founders say they are open to a new local operator taking over the event.

The former hotel off I-35 had most recently been used as a COVID-19 homeless Protection Lodge. (Courtesy City of Austin)
East Cesar Chavez encampment residents move into former South Austin hotel

Through Austin's HEAL initiative, residents of an encampment near East Austin's Terrazas Branch Libarary were relocated to a South Austin shelter before that camp is cleared away.

The regional blood bank appealed for further donations in the wake of the June 12 shooting in downtown Austin. (Courtesy We Are Blood)
We Are Blood appeals for blood donations following weekend shooting in downtown Austin

The Central Texas nonprofit also said its blood supply remains depleted due to decreased donations through the COVID-19 pandemic.