Riley Up 2-1 in Place 1

Former Planning Commissioner appears to have insurmountable lead.

Chris Riley had good reason to smile at Scholz Garten, as early returns showed him coasting to victory.
Chris Riley had good reason to smile at Scholz Garten, as early returns showed him coasting to victory. (photo by Lee Nichols)

Stick a fork in this one: Chris Riley’s early voting totals show him with a 2-1 lead over Perla Cavazos in the race for Austin City Council Place 1. It would be beyond shocking if that changes by the end of the night.

Riley, at his election party at venerable Scholz Garten, was predictably modest and refused to declare victory, but said, "It’s looking pretty good right now, but I’m going to be watching returns as they come in."

When Riley finally does relax and celebrate, he'll have good reason: Cavazos was no marginal candidate, with a credible agenda of improving affordable housing and a resume as an aide at the state legislature.

"She's a very serious candidate," Riley said. So what accounts for his apparently overwhelming victory?

"I think it's a long history of involvement with a number of different groups and causes going across the board, and each of those causes entails a network of people that are active on issues, and having just grown up here and worked on issues for a long time, there are networks out there that were spreading the word that I was somebody that could be counted on."

And for his first few days in office?

"The economy has to be a principle focus right now, figuring out ways to support small businesses, bring the budget under control, make some progress with Capital Metro, and get some movement going on transit. Those are the main things we have to deal with right away."

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Election 2009, Elections, City Council, Chris Riley, Perla Cavazos

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