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Riley and Tovo Join the Mix

Incumbents enter and 10-1 Races Begin to Take Shape

By Michael King, 9:30AM, Mon. Apr. 7


Kathie Tovo, Chris Riley
Photo by Jana Birchum, Todd V. Wolfson

The new 10-district City Council will feature at least nine new council members, as all but two incumbents are term-limited from running again. CM Mike Martinez has announced for mayor. And the two eligible to run – Chris Riley and Kathie Tovo – were both drawn into the new District 9, and have just confirmed they’ll be running against each other.

On Monday morning, Riley filed his new campaign treasurer designation, and Tovo still has an active one on file from her 2011 race. For the moment, those are the only candidates in District 9, a central city district that runs from Oltorf on the south to 51st on the north. Riley told Newsdesk he will be ready to announce his candidacy this week, while Tovo confirmed she is planning to run, but likely won’t make a formal announcement until May.

With those two entries, there are now declared candidates for all 10 new districts (the former Council “places,” 1 through 6, did not represent geographic districts; like the mayor, all Council candidates ran citywide).

Candidates cannot officially begin begin soliciting or spending other people’s money until May 8* (180 days from November 4, election day) and the official filing period does not take place until July 21-Aug. 18* [*both dates now corrected from official City Clerk election calendar]. But under state law, once declaring an interest in running, candidates are required to file campaign treasurer designations.

What follows below is the current Chronicle master list of City Council candidates - as of Monday, April 7.

We’ve continued to contact as many real or rumored candidates as possible, and we don’t add a name until we’ve been able to confirm that she or he is running or still considering a run. We've dropped from our active list potential candidates who have either let us know they've decided against a run, or provided no confirmation that they indeed intend to run.

If you believe you should be on the list, if you know someone we’ve missed who’s considering a run, or if you’re currently on the list and your status has changed, please drop a line to mking@austinchronicle.com.

MAYOR

Stephen Adler, eminent domain attorney and co-founder of Barron & Adler, LLP. Adler has a Facebook page and a basic campaign web site, and has assembled a campaign team. On Saturday, he told the Chronicle that he’s looking forward to a “robust debate with Mike Martinez about the path the city’s going to chart going forward.”

Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole said last week she continues to consider her options, but has not yet made a decision: “I would be honored to serve as mayor of Austin, and I plan to make an announcement soon.”

Council Member Mike Martinez formally kicked off his campaign on Saturday, April 5, with stops in all 10 districts, telling supporters “it is our turn, our time, and our responsibility.”

Newcomer Randall S. Stephens, an aircraft mechanic and tech entrepreneur (CEO of the AdBirds web site) filed a treasurer designation last week, saying he will campaign without big donors or bundling: “I don’t need the job [of mayor]; I want the job.” His Facebook page is "Randall Stephens for Austin."

DISTRICT 1 (East/Northeast)

Andrew Bucknall, former transportation commissioner and 2005 Place 1 Council candidate, has filed a campaign treasurer designation, and established a web page, exploring his potential candidacy.

Ora Houston, retired state program administrator and veteran civic activist (most recently in the single-member district campaign) says she is gathering information about the issues facing District 1 – as well as adjoining Districts 4 and 7, because “the districts need to work together.” Last week, she told the Chronicle: “When the time is ready, I will be announcing for District 1.”

DeWayne Lofton, 2006 Place 6 Council candidate and a risk manager with the Texas Association of School Boards, remains interested in running, and “hopes to make some kind of formal announcement before the end of the month.”

Sam Osemene, Austin Community College Assoc. prof. of government, small business owner, and 2008 Place 6 candidate said he’s a candidate and declared early on Facebook (www.facebook.com/sam.osemene): “The game is on. Get on board. We are moving forward. I need your support.” He said he expects to file a treasurer designation this week; he’s “working social media right now,” but hopes to announce a campaign kick-off soon.

DISTRICT 2 (Southeast)

Frank Coniglio, small businessman, longtime state employee, and Dem activist said earlier in the year he was leaning toward running. Last week he said he is still doing “due diligence and research,” and hopes to make a decision “within a couple of weeks.”

Delia Garza, assistant attorney general, former firefighter (Local 975), and Charter Revision Committee member, earlier said she "plans to run [to] provide a voice for a part of Austin that hasn't had a voice." She confirmed those plans last week, and expects to file a treasurer designation this week.

Jackie Goodman, former four-term Council member, filed a treasurer designation on March 31, and as of April 7 is the only District 2 candidate to have formally done so.

Edward Reyes, owner of a small business and president of the Dove Springs Neighborhood Association, has not yet filed a treasurer designation, but last week confirmed his intention to run in District 2.

DISTRICT 3 (East/Southeast)

Susana Almanza, co-director of People Organized in the Defense of Earth and Her Resources announced her candidacy earlier this year, and filed a treasurer designation March 31.

Mario Cantu, an EMT/paramedic and neighborhood representative, has filed a treasurer designation and established a campaign web site. He describes himself as an Austinite "born and raised," and has served as the Sector 9 representative for the Austin Neighborhoods Council.

Shaun Ireland, former Place 6 candidate, says "neighbors and supporters ... have encouraged [him] to run,” and confirmed his intentions by filing a treasurer designation in late January. His Facebook page declares: “I look forward to having a serious discussion about policy and common sense governance!” He also has a campaign web site.

Fred McGhee, author, ACC professor, and public housing advocate, filed a treasurer designation April 3 and is developing a campaign web site (www.fredmcghee.com).

DISTRICT 4 (North/Central)

Gregorio Casar, Workers Defense Project policy director earlier announced, “I’ll be running to represent and fight for the people of City Council District 4,” and recently designated a campaign treasurer.

Marco Mancillas, a public relations consultant and executive director of the Hispanic Physicians Association, has designated a treasurer and created a campaign web site, and indicates he will make a formal announcement to run in District 4 on April 16.

DISTRICT 5 (Central/South)

Jason R. Denny: Executive director of Texas Young Republicans and GOP chair of Precinct 408, confirmed last week that he will be running, and expects to designate a treasurer “within this month.” He has a Facebook campaign page (www.facebook.com/Denny4ATX5).

Ann Kitchen, Liveable City leader and former Texas House member, is "hoping to represent the whole district that might not feel fully represented now,” and filed a treasurer designation in early March.

DISTRICT 6 (Northwest/West)

Jimmy Flannigan, Web business owner and Austin Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce president, designated a treasurer March 12, established a web site, and hosted a campaign kickoff on March 25.

Matt Stillwell, small business owner and former state House candidate, filed a treasurer designation March 26 (Jade Chang Sheppard, who had earlier considered running herself), and formally announced his run March 31 and on his web site: “I’m excited to continue on that path to serving the city I love as a Councilperson.”

Jay Wiley, attorney and former George W. Bush and Phil Gramm aide, and former Federalist Society president, designated a treasurer last October 3, easily the earliest of all the candidates, and has been steadily campaigning since, door-to-door and online (www.jaywileyforaustin.com): “I’ve stepped forward as a limited government candidate … because we need a new conversation about the proper role of government in our lives and our wallets.”

DISTRICT 7 (North/Central)

Alex Blum, a UT student and Amazon employee, has not yet designated a treasurer, but confirmed last week that he intends to run in District 7. He has said he “plans to bring a mix of youth, energy and passion to his representation of the interests of District 7.”

Jeb Boyt, attorney, mass transit and parks advocate, designated a treasurer March 20, and recently posted on his Facebook page: “A bottle of water and a Cliff bar between meetings. Oh yeah, the campaign is under way.”

Ed English, a retired sales and marketing professional, was active in promoting the 10-1 Council through Austinites for Geographic Representation, and describes himself as a "centrist unaffiliated with any party." He cited transportation and affordability as major issues, and designated a treasurer in February.

Josiah Ingalls, who ran for mayor in 2009 and Council (Place 1) in 2011, has said he’s considering a run, and a spokesman confirmed last week that Ingalls expects to designate a treasurer soon.

Jimmy Paver, development director for Stepping Stone Schools, and former staffer for U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett and state Rep. Mark Strama, lives in Allandale and says he is studying District 7 and considering a run.

Pete Salazar Jr., formerly an employment specialist at Caritas of Austin, resigned earlier this year to run for Council. He designated a treasurer in February, his Facebook page (where his profile photo is a Superman symbol) declares “Pete is Austin,” and he announced via Facebook (www.facebook.com/pete.salazar) that he will hold a campaign BBQ kickoff on May 10.

DISTRICT 8 (South/Southwest)

Eliza May, longtime civic activist, confirmed last week that she is “putting all the pieces together” for a run in District 8, and expects to act publicly on her candidacy soon.

Darrell Pierce, former Council candidate and management consultant/business owner, filed a treasurer designation February 12 and has a campaign web page: "Working together for Southwest Austin as one team, with one dream, for one City, we will build a healthier Austin!"

Ed Scruggs, civic activist (most recently on gun control issues, but also on neighborhood and environmental matters), confirmed his intent to run in District 8 by filing a treasurer designation March 21.

DISTRICT 9 (Central)

Chris Riley, Place 1 Council incumbent, said he will announce his candidacy and file his treasurer designation Monday, April 6.

Kathie Tovo, Place 3 Council incumbent, told the Chronicle last week that she intends to run; she expects to make her formal announcement in early May.

DISTRICT 10 (West/Northwest)

Marjorie "Margie" Burciaga, small business owner and community volunteer, was "seriously considering" a run early this year, and on Jan. 30 designated attorney and former assistant D.A. Mindy Montford as her treasurer.

Tina Cannon, former Place 5 candidate and educator/entrepreneur, has a campaign website (www.tinacannon.org) and has been on the campaign trail since early this year; she formally designated a treasurer March 19. Her web site declares: "I bring a common sense, 'boots on the ground' type of approach to city government."

Mandy Dealey, former Place 3 candidate and long-serving commissioner-of-all-trades filed a treasurer designation March 14, established a web site (mandydealey.com) and has begun campaigning: “My goal as a council member will be to protect the values that remain bedrock in Austin:  the people, the environment, the culture and the geography.”

Sheri Gallo, Realtor, former chair of Hous­ing Authority of Austin, former board member of RECA; ran unsuccessfully as GOP candidate for Precinct 2 County Commissioner in 2002 (as Sheri Perry Gallo), confirmed her decision to run last week, and on March 14 designated a treasurer.

Matt Lamon, longtime Austinite and currently chief of staff to state Rep. J.M. Lozano (R, Kingsville), designated a treasurer March 31. He says he “looks forward to working on issues that matter most to Austinites.”

Jason Meeker, former Place 1 candidate and current Zoning and Platting Commis­sioner, said last week he remains a potential candidate and is consulting with friends, colleagues, and family, but is not yet ready to designate a treasurer or announce a campaign.

Robert Thomas, management consultant, ran as a Republican against state Rep. Donna Howard in HD 48 in 2012; his campaign Facebook page (www.facebook.com/VoteRobertThomas) confirms he’s running, and he designated a treasurer on March 10.

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