2012 City Council Elections

City Council Elections
11:09 am
Mon April 16, 2012

City Council Incumbents Still Lead in Fundraising

Mayor Leffingwell handily leads the cash race with $104,000 cash on hand, to Brigid Shea's $53,000 and Clay Dafoe's $637.

When we last checked in on fundraising by Austin City Council and mayoral candidates, the incumbents showed a huge fundraising advantage. And unsurprisingly,  recently filed "30 day out" campaign finance reports from the candidates show that's still the case.

Mayor Lee Leffingwell has about $104,000 cash on hand. Challenger Brigid Shea has about $53,000 remaining in her coffers. Mayoral candidate Clay Dafoe listed only $637 on hand.

Council member Mike Martinez holds a huge fundraising advantage over challenger Laura Pressley, with $92,000 remaining compared to her $4,100.

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3:29 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

Getting Out the Vote in East Austin

Several organizations are hoping to see an voting increase in three East Austin precincts.
Photo by Tolly Moseley for KUT News

East Austin community groups are set to continue a local voter turnout program.

The East Austin Voter Mobilization Initiative, which describes itself as “the first-ever voter coalition in Austin comprised of Latino, African American, immigrant and civil rights organizations,” is kicking off its third year of voter  outreach and education.

The coalition’s goal is to raise voter turnout by 15 to 20 percent in three East Austin precincts – 123, 426, and 427.

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11:46 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Video: Watch Mayoral and City Council Candidates Discuss the Issues

KUT News live-blogged yesterday's Real Estate Council of Austin-sponsored luncheon with nearly all of the candidates running for local office this May. And now, you can watch them in action.

KUT News freelancer Jeff Heimsath cut this video of the candidates responding to questions from event moderator Judy Maggio. The contenders sound off on affordability, traffic congestion and more.

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City Council Elections
12:05 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Live Blog: The RECA Mayoral and City Council Forum

Photo by Callie Hernandez for KUT News

One of the local election season’s most well attended forums is underway this afternoon. The Real Estate Council of Austin (RECA), in association with several other business and civic groups, is hosting a discussion featuring candidates for Mayor and three City Council seats. KUT News will be live blogging the event.

1:05pm: And that's it! We're adjourned. Probably should've linked to this earlier, but you can read more about the 14 candidates -- all of whom but David Yepez Conley and John A. Rubine appeared here today -- at KUT News.

12:56pm: Questions from audience. Spelman asked about statement he's unsure whether the city should hold another bond election this year. Spelman (who hasn't been served well today by a soft mic) says the city has capacity from previous votes to raise property taxes, including some $100 million for transportation projects alone.

12:53pm: Place 6 face off. Cole asks Shaun Ireland about his opposition to the Apple deal. Ireland asks Cole about postponing the Austin Energy rate increases until after the election. "Is delaying votes how accountable government behaves?" Cole cites complexity of project, and not wanting to make a decision that's only "politically correct."

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12:48 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Mayoral, City Council Forums Get Going

Council candidates face questions this weekend.
Photo courtesy flickr.com/herzogbr

For a city that doesn’t really turn out for local elections – try 13% of registered voters last mayoral contest – Austin sure hosts a bunch of local election forums.

There’s been a smattering of events already, but a slate of high-profile endorsement discussions and forums beginning this weekend reminds us that the mayoral and City Council election, scheduled May 12, will be here sooner than we think.

Here’s a list of forums occurring next week, with descriptions pulled from the event organizers. In the meantime, you can familiarize yourself with the 14 candidates vying for mayor and three council seats.

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City Council Elections
2:55 pm
Mon March 12, 2012

City Council Candidate: With Run, My ‘Street Cred’s Right Out the Door’

Candidate Duffy in 2011, on Occupy Austin's first day at City Hall.
Photo courtesy flickr.com/visodd

It’s one of the eternal questions in politics – whether to work within the system, or outside of it.

A local political activist is attempting a run within the confines of the existing power structure, even if it may have cost him his anarchist street cred.

Filing for this May’s City Council election recently closed, and we noted the large amount of contenders vying for Place 5: six candidates, not including incumbent Bill Spelman who is running for reelection.

One of those candidates is John Duffy. His website touts his anarchist credentials and involvement with Occupy Austin. Our curiosity was further piqued by a press release stating “As a self identified anarchist, my candidacy is a contradiction of terms, and has cost me a lot of ‘street cred’ with other anarchists.”

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4:12 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

Commitee Mapping Out Changes to City Charter, Elections

Detail of a six-district map proposed by Lee Leffingwell, a proposal that's garnered little support.
Image courtesy City of Austin

Tonight, the 2012 Charter Revision Committee takes another step towards completing the biggest task in front of them: a recommendation on the format future City Council elections should take.

The committee – a citizen panel of fifteen City Council appointees – was convened last year to recommend changes to the City Charter (the city‘s bylaws). The charter can only be amended by Austin voters once every two years, and the city plans on holding just such an election this November.

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1:52 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

For City Council Incumbents, A Huge Fundraising Advantage

Money raised, spent, and remaining as of January 15, by candidates in May 2012's City Council election. [* Denotes incumbent; ** Denotes candidate has not specified the seat they will run for.]

File under ‘not terribly surprising:’ In their January 15 fundraising reports, incumbent City Council members running for re-election show a sizable fundraising advantage over their sparse opposition.

The reports, filed 120 days out from the May election, show Mayor Lee Leffingwell leading the pack. He reports $87,624 in contributions, with $7,912.61 spent, and $80,123.19 remaining cash on hand. By comparison, former council member Brigid Shea, who is exploring a run for mayor but hasn’t yet declared, reports $4,200 in contributions, with only $3,200 remaining.

The rest of the reports tell a similar story:

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