Commissioners Race Kicks Into Gear

Jung and Shea campaigns release dueling endorsement lists

The race to fill Sarah Eckhardt's vacated Pct. 2 Commissioner's seat gained momentum yesterday as two of the candidates released dueling press releases touting the support of local heavyweights. The winner of the primary will face Republican Jay Wiley in the November general election, a probable formality in heavily Democratic Travis County.

Environmentalist Brigid Shea published a media-savvy package of glowing YouTube testimonials from state Sen. Kirk Watson, ex Texas Ag Commissioner Jim Hightower, former Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos, Austin NAACP President Nelson Linder, and Livable City Chair Ann Kitchen. Joining the effusive headliners were AISD Chair Vince Torres, environmentalist Robin Rather, and community activist Paul Saldana, all gathered for the Sunday grand opening of Shea's campaign headquarters.

Attorney Richard Jung, meanwhile, was quick to tout his own growing list of supporters. As a former board member of the Austin-Travis County EMS Advisory Board, the endorsement of the Austin-Travis County EMS Employee Association PAC was perhaps not a big surprise, but it did give reason for Jung to remind the public of a cluttered endorsement list including Mayor Lee Leffingwell, CM Mike Martinez, and AISD Board Members Gina Hinojosa and Rev. Dr. Jayme Mathias.

Jung also advertized the support of interim County Commissioner Bruce Todd, who was appointed by Sam Biscoe to fill Eckhardt's seat after she declared her candidacy for Travis County judge. The nod might raise some eyebrows with environmentalists because of his support for State Highway 45, a project that would require disturbing some of the environmentally sensitive land over Edwards Aquifer.

Shea and Jung will be joined in the March Democratic primary by Garry Brown, who served as former Commissioner Karen Huber's chief of staff. Although his list of endorsement is less high-profile, it does include leaders of several progressive Democratic groups – including the Capital Area Progressive Democrats, Liberal Austin Democrats, University Democrats, and Texas Democratic Women. If elected, Brown would become the first openly LGBTQ county commissioner in Texas.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 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 News
The AggreGAYtor: June 1
The AggreGAYtor
What happened today in gay? Here’s your QILTBAG recap of queer news.

David Estlund, June 1, 2015

The AggreGAYtor: May 29
The AggreGAYtor
What happened today in gay? Here’s your QILTBAG recap of queer news.

David Estlund, May 29, 2015

More by Brandon Watson
My Obsession: Therapy With Nineties Supermodels
My Obsession: Therapy With Nineties Supermodels
Escape via the long gay tradition of diva worship

Sept. 15, 2017

Review: Holy Roller
Review: Holy Roller
The personal is edible at Callie Speer’s new hot spot

Sept. 8, 2017

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

News, Pct. 2 County Commissioner, Richard Jung, Garry Brown, Jay Wiley, Brigid Shea, Sarah Eckhardt, March 2014 Election

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

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

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