The Austin Chronicle

TDH: 6/10/11

By Wells Dunbar, June 10, 2011, 2:29pm, Newsdesk

With the first five days of early voting attesting to surprisingly semi-decent turnout, it’s clear the Place 3 run-off has succeeding in capturing more voter attention than the general. We’ve got the latest developments in the Randi Shade/Kathie Tovo showdown, including a pro-Tovo robocall from a council member.

Hoping to boost turnout is Laura Morrison, who recorded the above robocall for her pal Tovo. We understand Mayor Lee Leffingwell recorded a call for Shade in the primary, but we never procured a copy.

On those early vote numbers: voting so far has shown a marked improvement over general election turnout, with 11,768 votes, or 2.78% of registered voters turning out in the first four days. By comparison, only only 6,224 votes, or 1.21%, turned out in the first four of the general.

Tovo’s supporters also went on the offensive this morning, holding a press conference this morning attacking Shade’s support of Water Treatment Plant No. 4, and her new ad tying WTP4 to the city’s firefighting ability. The Sierra Club Political Action Committee and “environmental leaders from across Austin” gathered this morning to “dispel the false claims made by incumbent City Council candidate Randi Shade that Ms. Shade’s vote for a new water treatment plant ‘secures a safe reliable water supply’ for Austin’s future.”

We’re sure that WTP4, along with other fun topics like Formula One, will come up in tonight’s Place 3 run-off forum. Sponsored by the City’s Ethics Review Commission and conducted by the League of Women Voters of the Austin Area, the debate’s occurring in Council Chambers at City Hall, 301 W. Second, 6:30-7:30pm. Channel 6 will carry the forum live.

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