The Road to 10-1: Now We Begin
How to fit six dozen candidates into a one-pound newspaper
District 8: Don't Ask Y
As a "commuter district," much of District 8 has the feel of an autonomous suburb. But it is also one of Travis County's fastest growing areas, marked by blooming subdivisions. Unfortunately, the transportation infrastructure hasn't exactly kept pace. Within a few moments, all the candidates in this district invariably mention the Oak Hill "Y" – the disastrous stretch connecting US 290 West, Texas 71, and William Cannon.
Two candidates are directly involved in transportation issues, and both are strong contenders. Becky Bray is a professional transportation engineer and transportation/land planner at Brown and Gay Engineers. Her work affiliation, plus stints as a board member on the Real Estate Council of Austin and the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, should give her plentiful access to campaign funds. Darrell Pierce, a commissioner on the city's Transit Working Group, has already accumulated a strong list of supporters – including bold-faced names like Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe and former Mayor Gus Garcia. He also knows the realities of campaigning, having run in 2006 against Council Member Sheryl Cole.
Campaigning in a collection of discrete developments, all the candidates will struggle with broader name-recognition – Ed Scruggs may have that edge. As the former director of the Circle C Homeowners Association and an organizer of Circle C Area Democrats, he is well known in one of the district's main population centers – reflected in his packed campaign kickoff event.
Completing the pack are longtime civic activist Eliza May (also a 2006 Council contender) and Ellen Troxclair, a Realtor and current staffer for state House Rep. (and conservative crank) Jason Isaac.