Mobility bond, Travis County Commissioner top list of Southwest Austin elections

Election day is Nov. 8.

Election day is Nov. 8.

Southwest Austin residents who did not have the opportunity to vote early will have one last chance to cast a ballot Tuesday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Here is information on where to vote, and here is a rundown of some of the most notable contested races taking place locally:

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.

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.

Austin Community College
Place 4
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. Community Impact Newspaper interviewed the candidates in this Q&A. Here is a map of the ACC district service area.

Place 5
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.

Place 6

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.

Place 9
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.

Austin ISD board of trustees

Two seats on the Austin ISD board of trustees are up for election, including At-Large Position 8 and District 2 trustee.

Incumbent Jayme Mathias faces Adolphus “Andy” Anderson in the race for the District 2 board seat. Mathias took the lead in political donations this election season, according to the latest round of campaign finance reports released Oct. 31. According to documents from the Texas Ethics Commission, challenger Anderson has not raised any political contributions for his campaign.

A 15-year resident of Austin, Mathias was elected to the AISD board of trustees in November 2012 and has previously served as secretary. He cofounded three learning centers in East Austin and currently serves as pastor of Holy Family American Catholic Church in South Austin.

A resident of Austin for 27 years, Anderson has served as co-chair on several AISD committees, such as the District Advisory Council.

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.

Austin City Council District 2

Incumbent Delia Garza, a former Austin firefighter and assistant attorney general, is up against two newcomers: Wesley Faulkner, founding member of open government advocacy group Open Austin; and Casey Ramos, a professional boxer. We asked all three candidates what they thought were Austin's biggest challenges and what improvements they wanted to make to District 2, which spans Austin's south and southeast areas.

All three candidates answered questions about their priorities and the challenges facing Austin in this candidate Q&A published in October in Community Impact Newspaper.

City of Sunset Valley

Sunset Valley residents will elect a mayor and three council members as well as vote Nov. 8 on whether to implement a new sales tax increase. The sales tax increase, if approved, will make Sunset Valley's sales tax the same as Austin's.
U.S. House District 25

Incumbent Rep. Roger Williams is running against Democratic candidate Kathi Thomas and Libertarian Loren March Schneiderman. Williams has served two terms as a congressman. U.S. representatives are elected to serve two-year terms.

U.S. House District 35 

Incumbent Rep. Lloyd Doggett is running against Republican Susan Narvaiz, Libertarian candidate Rhett Rosenquest Smith and Green Party candidate Scott Trimble. Doggett has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1995. U.S. representatives are elected to serve two-year terms.

Texas Senate District 24
Republican Dawn Buckingham is facing off against Virginia “Jennie Lou” Leeder, Democrat. State senators are elected to serve four-year terms.

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 House District 48

Texas State House of Representatives 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 51

Texas House District 51 Democrat incumbent Eddie Rodriguez faces Green Party candidate Katija Gruene in today’s election.

District 51 includes portions of central, southwest and southeast Austin.


For more information on local races, here is a list of what to expect on the ballot.
By Kelli Weldon
Kelli joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter and has been covering Southwest Austin news since July 2012. She was promoted to editor of the Southwest Austin edition in April 2015. In addition to covering local businesses, neighborhood development, events, transportation and education, she is also the beat reporter covering the Travis County Commissioners Court.


Photo of boarded-up Sixth Street bars
With COVID-19 projections 'bleak' through Thanksgiving, Travis County keeps bars closed

Statistical models from the University of Texas show a 92% chance the pandemic is worsening, but the increase in cases and hospitalizations have leveled off in the last few days.

Slab BBQ owner Raf Robinson said the payroll protection program saved his restaurant. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
'I just need to pay the rent:' Austin small businesses in survival mode are doing everything in their power to outlast the pandemic

From selling inventory to flipping their business models to changing a yoga studio into a coworking space, small business owners are trying to avoid adding their names to the growing list of locally owned Austin institutions that have shut down.

Customers can order Goodstock Angus and Goodstock Black Label beef, including ribeye steaks, strip steaks, filets and ground chuck. (Courtesy Nolan Ryan brands)
Nolan Ryan expands Round Rock-based butcher business and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Austin area.

Burnet Road at West Braker Lane
Corridor projects along South Lamar Boulevard, Burnet Road will break ground by early 2021

Two corridor roadway projects approved in the city of Austin’s 2016 Mobility Bond are moving forward after recently receiving environmental clearances.

Screen shot of a Zoom board meeting
Dripping Springs ISD Superintendent Todd Washburn resigns; Brett Springston is named interim replacement

Less than a year after he was hired, Superintendent Todd Washburn is departing Dripping Springs ISD.

An "I Voted" sticker is left outside the Northwest Recreation Center in Austin, one of 37 early voting polling places open in Travis County. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
More than half of all Travis County voters have cast their ballots, exceeding early voting turnout percentage in 2016

More than 448,000 votes have been cast in Travis County. Early voting closes on Oct. 30.

Austin ISD trustees met Oct. 26, discussing in-person learning during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. (Courtesy Austin ISD)
Twice as many Austin elementary students have returned to campus compared to first day of in-person instruction, district says

Austin ISD will open its campuses to accommodate all students who request in-person instruction beginning Nov. 2.

Capital Metro released new renderings Oct. 26 of its proposed Project Connect expansion, which voters will decide Nov. 3. This rendering shows a Blue Line light rail train at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. (Rendering courtesy Capital Metro)
In final week of early voting, here is what Austin residents should know about Project Connect

The proposition appears as a 237-word block of text near the end of the ballot but boils down to a simple question: Are voters for or against a significant expansion of local public transportation, paid for in part with property tax funds?

Photo of the facade of the Dripping Springs ISD administraton building
Dripping Springs ISD to discuss superintendent's potential resignation

An item on the board of trustee's Oct. 26 meeting agenda indicates consideration of a resignation agreement for Superintendent Todd Washburn.

Alex Wu (left) and Kevin Tran stand, social distanced, outside of Bao'd Up in Sunset Valley. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Bao'd Up owners hope to make the traditional Chinese steamed buns a household name in Austin

The local chain has four locations, including one in Sunset Valley. Owner Alex Wu said as the franchise continues to grow, he hopes in a few years he will no longer have to explain what bao is.

Scott Friedeck, owner of The Graphic Guitar Guys, started working with guitars in 2011. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Dripping Springs small business owner Scott Friedeck got his big break in the music industry from George Strait

Friedeck's business, The Graphic Guitar Guys, creates custom wraps for guitars for artists to sell as merchandise.

East West Manufacturing will retain 30 jobs and create an additional 30 new jobs for a total of 60 full-time jobs in Round Rock over five years, according to an economic incentive agreement signed Oct. 22. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Round Rock to add 60 jobs and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.