The More and the Merrier: Council Candidate Update
More hopefuls trickle in
Last week, we reported on seven possible candidates for mayor of Austin and more than two dozen people declaring or seriously considering runs for the 10 City Council seats under the new districting system ("Very Early Returns: Calling All Council Candidates!" Dec. 27). Since that story went to press, we've heard from a few more wannabes and been tipped to a few others – and additional names remain in the air.
Thus far, we haven't heard of any more mayoral possibilities, but a few more folks have confirmed their interest in Council races, and names continue to trickle in. We've added only those names we could confirm directly or learned from multiple sources. Our updates to the list are below, and as the weeks proceed, we'll maintain a master list online. Once again, if you should be on the list, or if you know someone whom we've missed, drop a line to email@example.com, and we'll check it out.
DISTRICT 3 (East/Southeast)
Shaun Ireland: Former Place 6 candidate says "neighbors and supporters ... have encouraged [him] to run" and he's in "an early exploratory phase."
DISTRICT 4 (North/Central)
Thomas Gohring: The owner of Kick Butt Coffee and Master Gohring's Tai Chi & Kung Fu is considering a run, but has a geographic conundrum – his businesses are in District 4 (Airport Boulevard at Koenig Lane), but he lives in District 7.
Roberto Perez Jr.: Goodwill Industries project coordinator and neighborhood Rundberg Revitalization Team co-chair says he's "considering his options" and "sees the need of someone who lives [in] and has knowledge of the area ... [and] should have a decision in early February."
Laura Pressley: Several sources told us that former Place 2 candidate Pressley has moved into District 4 and is considering another run, and her Facebook page currently features an "Elect Laura Pressley" sign. Asked directly if she's running, Pressley responded: "I'm not sure if I'll run for City Council next year. ... There is a lot on my plate right now."
DISTRICT 5 (Central/South)
Fred Cantu: Political consultant and longtime Democratic activist, most recently for single-member districts (Austin Tejano Democrats chair, and last week noted as possible candidate), is "strongly considering" a run in light of a "need for fresh blood" on Council.
Jason R. Denny: Executive director of Texas Young Republicans and GOP chair of Precinct 408 says he's "exploring the opportunity to represent the citizens of South Austin," and already has a Facebook campaign page.
DISTRICT 8 (South/Southwest)
Rebecca Bray: Engineering senior project manager and Real Estate Council of Austin board member has confirmed to the Chronicle that she's "seriously considering" a run while "performing her due diligence" and waiting on the release of "final election rules."
DISTRICT 10 (West/Northwest)
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). She's "seriously considering" a run and reaching out to potential supporters, and says that under single-member districts, "I think that a person with my fiscally conservative (spend wisely), socially moderate views can be elected to the City Council."