ELECTION RESULTS: Separated by less than one percent of votes, Austin City Council District 1 candidates head to runoff

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Editor’s note: This story was updated at 10:04 a.m. Nov. 7 to provide correct Election Day voting totals.

With all 34 district precincts reporting, Austin City Council District 1 candidates Natasha Harper-Madison and Mariana Salazar will face each other in a runoff election Dec. 11.

Salazar, an immigrant with 15 years of community organizing experience, received 5,673 votes, just 204 more than Harper-Madison, a mother and affordable housing advocate, who received 5,469 votes.

Neither candidate, however, received more than 50 percent of the vote, which is the requirement to avoid a runoff election. Salazar received 26.01 percent, while Harper-Madison received 25.07 percent.

Although Salazar is awaiting confirmation of the runoff, she said Tuesday evening that she is hopeful.

“I was the underdog,” she said, “and I’m super happy with the results.”

Harper-Madison, who could not be reached for comment, and Salazar were two of six candidates running for the District 1 seat.

Their competitors included Vincent Harding, an attorney endorsed by District 1 Council Member Ora Houston, who received 23.89 percent of the vote; community organizer and Texas’ first formerly incarcerated candidate for public office Lewis Conway Jr., who received 11.16 percent; native Austinite and preservationist Mitrah Avini with 9.44 percent; and public safety advocate Reedy Spigner with 4.50 percent.

Houston announced in June that she would not run for re-election.

Whoever replaces her on the dais will serve in the second term of Austin’s 10-1 City Council, which replaced the previous at large system. Since 2014 council members have been elected from 10 geographical districts in an effort to equalize representation across the city. The mayor is elected in a citywide race.

In addition to District 1, five other council seats were open this election. Mayor Steve Adler was re-elected with more than 60 percent of the vote. District 3 incumbent Sabino “Pio” Renteria will face Susana Almanza in the runoff election. District 5 incumbent Ann Kitchen ran opposed. District 8 candidates will also head into a runoff, although which two remains to be seen with two precincts yet to report. District 9 incumbent Kathie Tovo was re-elected to a third term, narrowly surpassing the runoff threshold with 52.87 percent of the vote.

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  1. Those are very exciting results for District 1! For those of us who weren’t previously following this race, could you please include something about Salazar? There is a short bio of all candidates other than her in this recap. Thank you.

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Emma Freer
Emma Freer began covering Central Austin for Community Impact Newspaper in 2017. Her reporting focuses include employment and economic development. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School in 2017.
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