Leander ISD tops list of Cedar Park, Leander elections

Cedar Park or Leander 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. We previously shared a full list of ballot items to expect, and here is a rundown of some of the most notable contested races taking place locally:

Leander ISD board of trustees

Three Leander ISD trustee positions are up for election, and each incumbent will face a challenger on Nov. 8.

Campaign finance reports released Oct. 11 showed every challenger out-raising their opposing incumbent in political contributions. But the latest round of reports, released Oct. 31, showed all three incumbents raising more in contributions than their challengers.

Place 3
Trustee Pamela Waggoner is a former insurance agent who served on the LISD board from 2002-08 and again from 2010-16. Challenger Chris Remy is in the software sales industry and has never served on the LISD board.

In a Q&A with Community Impact Newspaper, Waggoner said if re-elected she would focus on improving schools in the district that are struggling due to socioeconomic factors or the percent of students for whom English is a second language.

Remy said if elected to Place 3, he would be a service-oriented leader and guide the district to its fullest potential.

Place 4
Trustee Grace Barber-Jordan is a adjunct professor of student development and a licensed professional counselor. She has served on the LISD board for 15 years.

Challenger Scott Rowe recently moved to the district from Eastvale, California, where he was a board member of the Eastvale Community Foundation.

In a Q&A with Community Impact Newspaper, Barber-Jordan said if re-elected she would works to maintain the district’s “culture of excellence” as its population continues to grow.

Rowe said if elected he would work to build consensus among the concerns of parents, administrators, teachers and taxpayers.

Place 5
Trustee Russell Bundy has served on the LISD board for nine years and has a background in law enforcement. Challenger James MacKay is a military training instructor with the U.S. Air Force and has served on the School Health Advisory Committee, and the campus site-based planning committee for Vista Ridge High School.

In a Q&A with Community Impact Newspaper, Bundy said if re-elected, he would work with LISD’s new superintendent, Dan Troxell, to develop strategies for the district.

MacKay said he would work to restore local control of our children’s education, fight to put an end to high-stakes testing, and support and protect our teachers by rejecting any attempts to tie assessments of educators to student performance on standardized tests.

Round Rock ISD board of trustees, Place 7

Round Rock ISD’s board of trustees has one contested race with investment associate Mason Moses and lawyer Tony Pitts running for Place 7 to replace Trustee Pauline Law, who chose not to seek re-election. Neither candidate has held elected office in the past.

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 board of trustees 

Place 4
Three candidates are vying for a spot on Austin City Council’s board of trustees. One of 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.

Place 5
The seat is 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 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, District 6

In a rematch of their 2014 runoff election, the District 6 race features incumbent Don Zimmerman and challenger Jimmy Flannigan. Both have highlighted relieving traffic congestion as a top campaign issue.

Zimmerman founded the Travis County Taxpayers Special Political Action Committee to fight local tax proposals and is one of four Northwest Austin council members back on the ballot two years after Austin voters elected 10 members from newly drawn geographical districts. He has said he supports cooperating with the Texas Department of Transportation and Williamson County to acquire a right of way for a new west Austin expressway from Lakeway Mall to I-35 south in order to relieve traffic. He is neutral on Proposition 1, the city of Austin’s $720 mobility bond on the Nov. 8 ballot.

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. Flannigan supports Proposition 1.

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. Libertarian Eric Guerra and Debbie Russell, a Green Party candidate, also appear on the ballot. 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.

Travis County Commissioners Court, Pct. 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.

Williamson County Commissioners Court, Pct. 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 election today.

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 would be for necessary work or needs at a fair price and with contractors who have a record of quality work that is completed on time and within budget.

U.S. House District 31

Incumbent Rep. John Carter is running against Democrat Mike Clark and Libertarian Scott Ballard. Carter has served Texas' 31st congressional district in 2003. U.S. representatives are elected to serve two-year terms.

State House District 136

Democrat Paul Gordon, an independent financial adviser, is challenging incumbent Republican Tony Dale, 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.

In a Q&A with Community Impact Newspaper, Gordon said if elected he would sponsor bills to raise the minimum wage, improve transportation infrastructure and expand Medicaid services, among other things.

Dale said if he is re-elected to office, he would focus on legislation that prevents teachers who have inappropriate relationships with students from working in other districts.

According to campaign finance reports, Dale has raised tens of thousands of dollars more in political contributions for his campaign than Gordon.

State House District 47

Texas House of Representatives District 47 incumbent Rep. Paul Workman, R-Austin, faces Democrat Ana Jordan and Libertarian Scott McKinlay in today’s general election.

District 47 includes Lake Travis and Westlake and portions of Leander and Cedar Park.

State House District 20

Republican incumbent Terry Wilson is running unopposed for the Texas House of Representatives District 20 seat.

Wilson is a retired U.S. Army colonel. He represents Burnet and Milam counties, as well as a large portion of Williamson County.

State Board of Education, District 10

State Board of Education 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 not 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 her 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.


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