Edwards Bryant wins ACC Place 2 board seat

UPDATED 8:45 a.m. CST Dec. 17



Gigi Edwards Bryant will become the next Austin Community College Place 2 board member, according to unofficial final results issued by the college. Edwards Bryant received 54.39 percent of the votes, or 31,566 votes according to ACC, topping second-place challenger Jade Chang Sheppard who had 45.61 percent of the vote, or 26,471 votes.



All results are unofficial until canvassed.



"I'm feeling very confident about the results so far," Edwards Bryant said. "It's been a great night, and now I just want to make sure we all come together."



Edwards Bryant said the nearly $386 million bond package approved Nov. 4 by voters will help her immediately focus on her primary goal, should the results hold and she is elected ACC Place 2 board trustee.



"I have my eyes on our student success," she said. "We also need to take this opportunity to take care of our professors and our support staff."



During the same Nov. 4 election, voters rejected a 3-cent incremental tax-cap increase. Edwards Bryant said as a board member she intends to bring the issue back to voters in 2016.



"[The tax-cap increase proposal] was structured around the bond package to make sure everybody had the best opportunity for improvement, so if we reissued that request in 2016 I would make sure it still meets our needs," Edwards Bryant said.



POSTED 7:20 p.m. CST



Gigi Edwards Bryant leads a runoff election to determine who fills the final vacancy on the Austin Community College board of trustees.



According to early voting totals in Travis and Williamson counties, Place 2 results show Edwards Bryant has received 54.43 percent of support, or 20,366 votes, and challenger Jade Chang Sheppard has 45.57 percent, or 17,052 votes.



Totals exclude any early votes from Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays and Lee counties because of the limited amount of votes coming from those parts of ACC's district. All results are unofficial until canvassed.



Both Edwards Bryant and Chang Sheppard advanced from a six-person ACC Place 2 race held Nov. 4 during which neither candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote, meaning the top two vote-getters advance to a runoff election. Edwards Bryant finished first with 31.09 percent, or 47,122 votes, and Chang Sheppard received 25.82 percent, or 39,132 votes. Bob Allen was the next closest candidate with 19.4 percent, or 29,414 votes, followed by Michael J. Lewis (10.97 percent), Johnathan Mathers (8.59 percent) and Robb J. Misso (4.13 percent).



No runoff election is being held for ACC's Place 1 or Place 3 board seats. Mark Williams on Nov. 4 unseated incumbent Tim Mahoney with 53.3 percent, or 84,324 votes, to secure the Place 1 seat, and Place 3 trustee Nan McRaven ran unopposed. Both were sworn into six-year terms during ACC's Dec. 1 board meeting. The Place 2 winner will also serve a six-year term.



During that same election, voters also approved a nearly $386 million bond proposal with 56.85 percent of the vote, or 157,941 votes in support and 119,872 votes against the measure. However, voters sided against a proposal to increase the school district's tax rate cap by 3 cents, failing with 48.88 percent, or 133,201 votes, in support of that measure.

By Joe Lanane
Joe Lanane’s career is rooted in community journalism, having worked for a variety of Midwest-area publications before landing south of the Mason-Dixon line in 2011 as the Stillwater News-Press news editor. He arrived at Community Impact Newspaper in 2012, gaining experience as editor of the company’s second-oldest publication in Leander/Cedar Park. He eventually became Central Austin editor, covering City Hall and the urban core of the city. Lanane leveraged that experience to become Austin managing editor in 2016. He managed eight Central Texas editions from Georgetown to San Marcos. Working from company headquarters, Lanane also became heavily involved in enacting corporate-wide editorial improvements. In 2017, Lanane was promoted to executive editor, overseeing editorial operations throughout the company. The Illinois native received his bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University and his journalism master’s degree from Ball State University.


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