$720 million mobility bond tops list of Central Austin elections

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today.

Any Central Austin resident who did not have the opportunity to vote early will have one last chance to cast a ballot today between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. We previously shared a full list of ballot items to expect, and here is a rundown of some of the most notable contested races taking place locally:

Austin mobility bond

Voters will decide whether to approve the city of Austin's $720 million mobility bond, which includes three project categories. Most funding­—$482 million—would go toward implementing parts of the city’s seven completed corridor plans as well as studying a new corridor plan in South Austin. Another $101 million would go toward regional mobility projects, and the remaining $137 million would be spent on local road projects and implementing parts of the city’s sidewalk, bicycle, urban trails and fatality-reduction plans.

T he city of Austin could issue $250 million in bonds without raising the debt service tax rate and would issue the remaining $470 million by raising that tax rate by an estimated 2.25 cents per $100 taxable valuation.

Austin City Council District 4

Three candidates are vying to represent Austin's District 4, covers parts of Central and North Austin. Incumbent Greg Casar, the youngest council member Austin has ever seen, is being challenged by Louis C. Herrin III, who has more than 35 years of state government experience, and Gonzalo Camacho, who runs a traffic and transportation engineering consulting firm. Read about their top priorities and how they would approach affordable housing in District 4 here.

Austin City Council District 7

Candidate Natalie Gauldin is challenging incumbent Leslie Pool for the District 7 seat, which encompasses parts of Central and North Austin. The issue at the heart of the race is the Grove at Shoal Creek, a proposed mixed-use development at 45th Street and Bull Creek Road. Pool, the founder of the Bull Creek Road Coalition—which opposes the development—says she wants to see more mitigated traffic and flooding measures, more affordable housing and more dedicated parkland at the Grove. Gauldin, who co-founded Friends of the Grove, a grassroots group that supports the development, says a development such as the Grove is important for sustainable growth in Austin. Read more about the candidates in our Q&As.

Austin City Council District 10

District 10 features Austin City Council’s most crowded election race, with incumbent Sheri Gallo facing three challengers: Alison Alter, a philanthropic adviser and member of Austin’s Parks and Recreation board; Rob Walker, a certified public accountant; and Nick Virden, a recent graduate of the University of Texas at Austin who works in real estate finance. Candidates have highlighted housing affordability, managing Austin’s growth and mobility as top issues.

Travis County Commissioners Court Precinct 3

Travis County Precinct 3 Commissioner Gerald Daugherty, a Republican, is seeking re-election and faces Democrat David Holmes in the race for the seat. Daugherty was first elected to the seat in 2002, was re-elected in 2004, lost the 2008 election and was elected again in 2012. Both candidates answered questions in a Q&A for Community Impact Newspaper.

Daugherty outpaced Holmes in terms of funds raised, according to campaign finance reports.

Travis County sheriff

Sheriff Greg Hamilton is stepping down after 12 years of service. Republican Joe G. Martinez and Democrat Sally Hernandez will look to fill the office. Hernandez garnered more political contributions than Martinez, with $26,531 in campaign funds raised compared to Martinez’s $8,950.

Travis County district attorney

Democrat Margaret Moore and Republican Maura Phelan are vying to replace outgoing DA Rosemary Lehmberg, who was arrested in 2013 in connection with driving while intoxicated. Lemberg is stepping down after nearly eight years in office.

State Board of Education District 5

Incumbent Republican Ken Mercer faces two challengers in the race for State Board of Education District 5. The Democratic challenger in the race took the lead in political donations this election season, according to the latest round of campaign finance reports, released Oct. 31. Rebecca Bell-Metereau has raised four times as much as Mercer. Libertarian challenger Ricardo Perkins has not raised any political contributions for his campaign, according to documents from the Texas Ethics Commission.

Mercer, a resident of San Antonio, was elected to the State Board of Education in 2006 and re-elected in 2010 and 2012. He is a former member of the Texas House of Representatives.

Bell-Metereau is a San Marcos resident and professor of English at Texas State University.

Perkins is a chemical engineer who lives in Oak Hill.

State Board of Education District 10

State Board of Education District 10 incumbent Republican Tom Maynard faces Democratic challenger Judy Jennings.

Jennings leads the race in political donations with $163, according to the latest round of campaign finance reports released Oct. 31. Maynard did raise any donations for his campaign, according to reports from the Texas Ethics Commission.

Jennings is a resident of Austin who works as director of assessment for a private consulting company that partners with the Texas Education Agency, according to the campaign website.

Maynard, a resident of Florence, was elected to the State Board of Education in 2012. He serves as executive director of the Texas FFA Association, an organization of career and technical students.

Austin Community College

Place 4

Three candidates are vying for a spot on Austin City Council’s board of trustees. George Robinson, Sean Hassan or Michael J. Lewis will replace outgoing trustee Jeffrey Richard, who decided not to seek re-election after serving for 12 years. The seat is one of four open positions on the nine-member board. Community Impact Newspaper interviewed the candidates in this Q&A. Here is a map of the ACC district service area.

Place 5

The seat is also being contested by three candidates: Thomas Miranda, Nicole Eversmann and Anthony Schoggins. Currently held by Victor H.P. Villarreal, the board’s president, the seat is being vacated after a six-year stint. Villarreal decided against seeking re-election. Community Impact Newspaper interviewed the candidates in this Q&A.

Place 6

Douglas Gibbins and Nora De Hoyos Comstock are seeking the position. Current Place 6 trustee Guadalupe Sosa is leaving her post to run for longtime trustee Allen Kaplan’s Place 9 seat. Kaplan, who served on the board since 1994, announced his retirement this year. His term was set to end in 2018. Gibbons and Comstock answered Community Impact Newspaper’s questions in this Q&A.

Place 9

Sosa entered a crowded field of contestants for the seat, with Mitch Fuller, Julie Ann Kitsch and Jeremy Story all vying to replace Kaplan. Because his term was unexpired, the seat will be up for re-election again in two years. Candidates spoke about their policy priorities in this Q&A, published in September.

Austin ISD board of trustees, Place 2

Incumbent Jayme Mathias faces Adolphus “Andy” Anderson in the race for Austin ISD board of trustees District 2. Mathias took the lead in political donations this election season, according to the latest round of campaign finance reports released Oct. 31. According to documents from the Texas Ethics Commission, challenger Anderson has not raised any political contributions for his campaign.

A 15-year resident of Austin, Dr. Mathias was elected to the AISD board of trustees in November 2012 and has previously served as secretary. He cofounded three learning centers in East Austin and currently serves as pastor of Holy Family American Catholic Church in South Austin.

A resident of Austin for 27 years, Anderson has served as co-chair on several AISD committees, such as the District Advisory Council.

Austin ISD board of trustees, Place 8

David Ryan Quintanilla and Cindy Anderson vie for the at-large Place 8 seat on the Austin ISD board of trustees, currently held by Gina Hinojosa. Anderson took the lead in political donations this election season, according to the latest round of campaign finance reports released on Oct. 31.

Quintanilla is an attorney and chief financial officer and co-owner of Serranos, an Austin Tex-Mex restaurant.

Anderson is a nearly 20 year Austin resident and has held multiple PTA officer positions and served on several AISD district-level advisory bodies.

U.S. House District 10

Incumbent Rep. Michael McCaul is running against Democratic candidate Tawana Cadien and Libertarian candidate Bill Kelsey. McCaul has served six terms as a congressman. U.S. representatives are elected to serve two-year terms.

Last month, we asked McCaul and Cadien about the challenges facing District 10—their responses can be found here. Rep. McCaul leads the race with the most campaign contributions.

U.S. House District 21

Incumbent Rep. Lamar Smith is running against Democratic candidate Tom Wakely, Libertarian candidate Mark Loewe and Green Party candidate Antonio "Tony" Diaz. Lamar. Smith was elected to serve Texas' 21st congressional district since 1987. U.S. representatives are elected to serve two-year terms.

U.S. House District 25

Incumbent Rep. Roger Williams is running against Democratic candidate Kathi Thomas and Libertarian Loren March Schneiderman. Williams has served two terms as a congressman. U.S. representatives are elected to serve two-year terms.

U.S. House District 35

Incumbent Rep. Lloyd Doggett is running against Republican Susan Narvaiz, Libertarian candidate Rhett Rosenquest Smith and Green Party candidate Scott Trimble. Doggett has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1995. U.S. representatives are elected to serve two-year terms.

Texas House District 46

Although Texas House Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, is on the ballot today, she announced she is stepping down after 22 years in office on Jan. 10. Republican Gabriel Nila, Libertarian Kevin Ludlow and Green Party representative Adam Michael Greeley are on the ballot.

If Dukes wins the election, the Travis County Democratic Party has called for a special election.

District 46 includes sections of Austin, Pflugerville and Manor in Travis County.

Texas House District 48

Texas State House of Representatives District 48 incumbent Donna Howard, a Democrat, faces Libertarian candidate Ben Easton in today’s election.

District 48 covers Lake Travis, Westlake and portions of south, west and central Austin.

Texas House District 49

Two candidates are vying for the Texas House District 49 seat, replacing incumbent Elliott Naishtat, who is retiring. Attorney and Austin ISD trustee Gina Hinojosa and investor Rick Perkins are on today’s ballot. Hinojosa is a Democrat, while Perkins is a Libertarian.

District 49 covers portions of southwest, central and northwest Austin.

Texas House District 51

Texas House District 51 Democrat incumbent Eddie Rodriguez faces Green Party candidate Katija Gruene in today’s election.

District 51 includes portions of central, southwest and southeast Austin.


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