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.
The 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
All four seats representing Northwest Austin on Austin City Council are up for re-election.
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.
In a rematch of their 2014 runoff election, the District 6 race features Don Zimmerman and Jimmy Flannigan as candidates. Both have highlighted relieving traffic congestion as a top campaign issue. Incumbent Zimmerman founded the Travis County Taxpayers Special Political Action Committee to fight local tax proposals. Flannigan co-founded the Northwest Austin Coalition, is a member of the Austin Chamber of Commerce Transportation Committee and a past president of the Austin Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. He has said he wants to focus on relieving congestion and improving pedestrian safety on Anderson Mill Road, Duval Road, McNeil Road and near Lakeline Boulevard and Neenah Avenue. Read our Q&As with the candidates.
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.
In the most crowded council election race, incumbent Sheri Gallo faces 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 1
Travis County Commissioner Ron Davis, who serves Precinct 1, is retiring and is not seeking re-election. Democrat Jeff Travillion, who edged out other competitors in the primaries earlier this year, will face off against Republican William 'Pat' McCord in the race for the Precinct 1 seat. Travillion outpaced McCord in terms of funds raised, according to campaign finance reports.
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.
Williamson County Commissioners Court, Precinct 1
Two candidates are vying for the seat that will replace Commissioner Lisa Birkman, who decided not to seek re-election after serving three terms and 12 years. Republican Landy Warren, a banking executive, and Democrat Terry Cook, a small business owner, are facing off in the Nov. 8 election.
In a Q&A with Community Impact Newspaper, Warren said if elected his top priority would be to diversify the county’s long-term water supplies to ensure that Williamson County residents will always have affordable water for their homes and businesses. Cook said she would work to ensure any contracts signed by the county will be for necessary work or needs, will be at a fair price and be signed with contractors who have a record of quality work that is completed on time and within budget.
Austin ISD board of trustees, at-large Place 8
David Ryan Quintanilla and Cindy Anderson vie for the At Large Position 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.
Round Rock ISD board of trustees, Place 7
The board has one contested race with investment associate Mason Moses and lawyer Tony Pitts running to replace Trustee Pauline Law, who chose not to seek re-election. Neither candidate has held elected office before. RRISD trustees Nikki Gonzales, elected in 2014, and Charles “Chad” Chadwell, who has served on the board since 2008, are running unopposed Nov. 8.
Austin Community College
Here is a map of the ACC district service area.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Texas House District 47
Incumbent Paul Workman, a Republican, faces off against challengers Ana Jordan, Democrat, and Scott G. McKinlay, Libertarian. State House representatives are elected to serve two-year terms.
Texas State House 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 50
Democrat incumbent Celia Israel faces Republican Ceasar Ruiz in today’s election for Texas House District 50 representative. District 50 encompasses parts of North Austin, Pflugerville, Manor, Elgin and Webberville in Travis County.
Texas House District 136
Democrat Paul Gordon, an independent financial adviser, is challenging incumbent Republican state Rep. Tony Dale, R-Cedar Park, a business owner and consultant, for the State House District 136 seat on Nov. 8. Dale has held the seat since 2013. Prior to the 2012 election, HD 136 was located in Harris County and represented residents in the Houston metropolitan area. The district moved to Williamson County during redistricting because of its rapid population growth. Dale is president of Spancil Hill Consulting LLC, and he previously served on Cedar Park City Council. Gordon is owner of Paul Gordon & Associates, and his past experience includes clinical social work. According to campaign finance reports, Dale has raised tens of thousands of dollars more in political contributions for his campaign than Gordon.
State Board of Election, 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 he 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.