Shade's Quick Evening

The early numbers told the tale

Council Member Randi Shade
Council Member Randi Shade (Photo by John Anderson)

Incumbent Place 3 Council Member Randi Shade began the evening expecting a "very close" runoff against challenger Kathie Tovo, but the early vote numbers came in 55% Tovo, 45% Shade – and the day's numbers were only worse. A little after 9pm, Shade thanked the voters, her supporters, her team, and her partner Kayla Shell, for a hard-fought campaign.

A couple of hours before the early vote was posted, Shade was carefully optimistic. "Everybody's telling me it's going to be extremely close," she told NewsDesk by phone, "so we're doing everything we can to turn out voters this afternoon, and we're just going to hope for the best. I'm really proud of the effort we put out towards this runoff, and I'm glad that we decided to stay in it. I think it was really important to do that." That optimism held very early at El Arroyo, on the outdoor deck hosting her vote-night party, but by the time Shade arrived, about 7:30, the early numbers had been posted, showing Tovo ahead by 10 points. "Obviously, I had hoped we would be in a better position going into today's vote," Shade said, "but we've run a great campaign, we've gotten many more people to vote, and we'll just have to wait for today's votes to come in."

It was a fairly long wait – totals only drizzled in, in small numbers for a couple of hours – but when they did come in, it became clear that Tovo was only widening her lead. Looking at the incoming votes, Shade campaign manager Katherine Haenschen said it appeared that the jump in runoff numbers had increased numerical support in voting strongholds for both candidates, but had not altered the basic margins. "Both campaigns fired up their supporters," said Haenschen, "so they came out in larger numbers for both sides." The margin had been closed a bit – from the general election's 13% to the run-off's 12% – but not enough to generate a Shade comeback.

Shade conceded about 9:15, said she'd called Tovo to offer her congratulations, and thanked her team and supporters, who cheered her name. Among the crowd of supporters at El Arroyo wishing Shade the best were Mayor Lee Leffingwell, Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez, and Council Member Chris Riley – one open question is how the newly formed council, when Tovo takes her seat next month, will resolve its now visible political division: Council Members Laura Morrison, Sheryl Cole, and Bill Spelman all supported Tovo.

"We've got a lot to be proud of," Shade told her supporters, "and we should be proud of our hard work. There just weren't enough of us to get out and vote. … I wished Kathie Tovo the best – [being on the council] has been an incredible experience for me, and I know it will be an incredible experience for her.

Asked "what's next" for her by a reporter, Shade smiled and said, "I'll be happy to have a nice cold margarita here at El Arroyo."

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Place 3 Run-off
Res Publica
Res Publica
Citizens' calendar, June 9-15

June 10, 2011

More by Michael King
Dana DeBeauvoir Fought for Election Access in a Year of Barriers
Dana DeBeauvoir Fought for Election Access in a Year of Barriers

Nov. 27, 2020

Texas Book Festival 2020: Isabel Wilkerson on <i>Caste</i>
Texas Book Festival 2020: Isabel Wilkerson on Caste
Festival talk highlights structural foundations of U.S. divisions

Nov. 17, 2020

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Place 3 Run-off, City Council, city election, Kathie Tovo, Randi Shade

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle