In a statement released Tuesday, Nov. 12, Garza, who had represented her Southeast Austin district since 2015, said she would not seek another term on the City Council dais.
“Those close to me and around City Hall have known for some time that I have been leaning toward this decision for some time now,” Garza said in her statement. “It has been an incredible honor to serve my community and my city. With your support, and with the help of my council colleagues, I’ve had the opportunity to lead on efforts that I know will have lasting impacts for our city.”
Garza highlighted her efforts on expanding healthcare services, improving public transportation and making policy reforms in affordable housing, criminal justice and childcare as the work of which she was most proud.
Earlier this year, rumors began that Garza might forgo another City Council term in favor of a run at Travis County Attorney—a seat long held by David Escamilla, who is retiring after this year. A draft campaign in Garza’s name was launched by fellow Council Member Greg Casar to begin canvassing support for a potential county attorney run. A majority of City Council members said they would support her campaign.
Saying she was focused on her work as a City Council member, Garza never commented much on the rumors; she offered only that she was “seriously considering” a run. Although her announcement that she would not seek reelection made no mention of the county attorney seat, she reaffirmed the seriousness of her consideration of a run to Community Impact Tuesday and said she would make a decision in “the coming weeks.”
If Garza chooses to run, the timing of such an announcement will be crucial. If she were to announce a run before December—one year plus 30 days before her term expires at the end of 2020—she would have to vacate her City Council seat, and the city would hold a special election in May to find someone to serve the rest of Garza’s term. Should Garza announce after December, she would be able to serve out her full term on City Council while running her campaign for the county attorney position.
Garza did not answer Community Impact’s inquiry as to whether she would announce before December.