Candidates vying for seats on Austin City Council in the November 2024 election raised more than $285,000 for their campaigns through the second half of 2023, and combined they had more than $270,000 available to spend heading into this year.

The big picture

Six positions will be contested in Austin's 2024 civic elections, including mayor and representatives for five City Council districts—2, 4, 6, 7 and 10.

All races are for four-year terms. Mayor Kirk Watson is up for re-election while serving a shortened two-year term following his narrow December 2022 runoff election win; the city's mayoral election cycle shifts this year to line up with U.S. presidential elections and will continue on a four-year basis going forward.

Candidates' recent campaign activity was detailed in semiannual finance reports due in mid-January, which covered last July through December. The next official glimpse at Austin campaign finances will come in mid-July and cover the first half of 2024.

While City Council races are already shaping up, interested candidates have until the Aug. 21 filing deadline to get on the November ballot.


Three candidates are lined up in the mayoral race: Watson; former City Council member Kathie Tovo; and Carmen Llanes Pulido, executive director at the organizing nonprofit Go Austin/Vamos Austin.

Watson headed into 2024 with no fundraising activity or cash on hand from last year and had spent just over $9,000 on various campaign expenses.

Similarly, Tovo reported no campaign contributions and only a few hundred dollars in spending, and came into 2024 with just over $100 available.

Llanes Pulido announced her campaign Jan. 23, after the financial reporting period, and didn't submit any financial information for the last six-month period.
Council districts 2 and 4

While those three mayoral candidates hadn't ramped up campaign activity late last year, the only two council incumbents facing re-election runs reported more notable fundraising gains and had tens of thousands of dollars ready to spend in 2024—but have yet to face any challengers.

In Southeast Austin's District 2, council member Vanessa Fuentes reported raising more than $45,000 from nearly 150 sources, including more than 80 individual donations at the maximum allowed level of $450.
Fuentes first took office in 2021 after her November 2020 election win. No other candidates have filed for the District 2 race as of press time.

In North Central Austin, council member Chito Vela reported raising just over $63,000 for his re-election bid over the last six months of 2023 and had nearly that amount remaining to spend heading into 2024. Almost two-thirds of Vela's 188 individual campaign contributions were made at the $450 limit.
Vela is also serving on a slightly shortened term, having won a special election for District 4 in January 2022 after former council member Greg Casar stepped down and successfully ran for a Congressional seat representing the Austin area. Vela also faces no opponents as of late January.

Council districts 6, 7 and 10

The remainder of the city races to be contested this fall are for North and West Austin districts, and will bring at least two newcomers to the council dais.

The District 6 race features incumbent council member Mackenzie Kelly facing off against Krista Laine, a self-described public schools advocate with housing and real estate experience.

Kelly headed into 2024 on stronger financial footing than Laine, with nearly triple the fundraising and cash-on-hand totals as her challenger.

Kelly reported more than $41,000 in contributions, about half at the maximum level, and around $40,500 available heading into this year. Laine's nearly $16,000 in contributions from more than 100 sources included 20 at the maximum, and she reported having about $15,700 available as of late December.
In District 7, four candidates are lined up in the race to replace council member Leslie Pool, who is reaching her term limit after serving on the council dais since 2014.

They include Edwin Bautista, a community advocate and nonprofit worker; Pierre Nguyễn, a firefighter and U.S. Coast Guard Reserve member; Adam Powell, a former union organizer and recruiter; and Mike Siegel, attorney and former U.S. House candidate.
As of last year, Siegel's reported finances were well ahead of his competition. His fundraising total of $57,500, of which more than $48,200 remained as of late 2023, well outpaced the next-highest earner; Powell reported bringing in $12,000 raised with just under $10,000 still on hand. Siegel's donations came from nearly 500 sources, including dozens at the $450 limit.

Nguyễn reported bringing in and spending over $1,700 while Bautista reported $240 in contributions.

In District 10, a new face will also replace outgoing council member Alison Alter, who is termed out after serving since her 2016 runoff election win and 2020 re-election.

Two candidates are vying for the West Austin seat so far: Ashika Ganguly, a former teacher and state legislative director, and Marc Duchen, a local neighborhood advocate and businessperson.

Ganguly reported about three times the fundraising total as Duchen through late last year and had about $10,000 more on hand as of Dec. 31.
Also of note

While not facing re-election until 2026, council member Ryan Alter reported significant fundraising activity since last June, bringing in more than $55,000. He's the only council member not in an election year to report contributions, and he had about $53,000 remaining at the end of the year.

Several political committees also had notable fundraising totals from July through December of last year. The largest totals included the Austin Board of Realtors PAC, which brought in more than $131,000 and had nearly $650,000 available to close out 2023, and Save Austin Now, which raised and maintained $101,310.