Nortey Announces for Precinct 1

Launches commissioner campaign at Carver Museum

James Nortey
James Nortey (Photo by Michael King)

Monday evening, among dozens of enthusiastic Democrats and introduced by Rev. Sherwyn Patton, attorney and activist James Nortey announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination to succeed retiring Pct. 1 County Commissioner Ron Davis on the Travis County Commissioners Court.

Patton, pastor of Nortey’s home Greater Mt. Zion Baptist Church, recalled his community work organizing against drug use and crime in Central East Austin, and described his parishioner as an “authentic leader.” Nortey began by thanking all his supporters, and singling out in particular as his “mentor and second mother” former Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole. He then recounted his family history – the son of Ghanaian immigrants who found prosperity in America, Nortey went on to Baylor, Harvard Law, and an advanced business degree from UT-Austin. He said he wants to provide “energetic, thoughtful leadership … and the same opportunities my parents and community gave me.” (Nortey's parents and his two brothers were on hand.)

Nortey, who called himself an “attorney, an advocate, and an activist,” said he would lead by the Democratic Party principle that “where you come from should not dictate where you end up.” He said that many Austinites have not shared in the regional prosperity, that far too many people are living below poverty, and that African-American residents in particular are being left behind or even exiled by the unaddressed rising cost of living. He said that over the next few months, he would present a “New Vision for Precinct One.” On local issues, he emphasized affordable housing, making commercial properties pay their fair share of property taxes, bringing “full-scale grocery stores” to Pct. 1, maintaining in-person visitation at the county jail, and “doing whatever we can to get ICE [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement] out of it.”

In addition to Cole, among the many local luminaries in attendance to show their support were former county Dem chair Andy Brown, Judges Eric Shepperd and Cliff Brown, restaurateur Hoover Alexander, former Council Member Jennifer Kim, constable candidates Manuel Jimenez and George Morales, artist Ben Sargent and writer Diane Holloway, Pct. 3 Constable Sally Hernandez, former Council candidates DeWayne Lofton and Andrew Bucknall … and many more. (District 4 Council Member Greg Casar was a late arrival, and joked that he turned up because he’d heard “James was giving away Amy’s ice cream.” Indeed, the ice cream was a crowd favorite.)

Nortey is the first candidate to announce for the Pct. 1 seat. Also being mentioned as potential Pct. 1 commissioner candidates are former candidates Richard Franklin and Arthur Sampson, and city staffer Jeff Travillion.

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 Travis County Commissioners Court
D.A. / C.A. Merger Proposal Fails
D.A. / C.A. Merger Proposal Fails
Motion to combine agencies fails for lack of a second

Dec. 11, 2018

Commissioners Ponder D.A. / C.A. Merger
Commissioners Still Pondering C.D.A
Court punts Lege agenda decision to Dec. 11 [UPDATE]

Michael King, Dec. 10, 2018

More James Nortey
Sheryl Cole Re-joins Cole Law Firm
Cole Returns to Law
Former Mayor Pro Tem returns to law practice

Michael King, May 12, 2015

More by Michael King
On the Edges of Gentrification, Planning a Different East Riverside Drive
On the Edges of Gentrification, Planning a Different East Riverside Drive
City's declared goals for the corridor and those of private developers do not necessarily coincide

Feb. 15, 2019

Defend Our Hoodz Gets Mixed Up With Arts District, Presidium, <i>Chronicle</i>
Defend Our Hoodz Gets Mixed Up With Arts District, Presidium, Chronicle

Feb. 15, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Travis County Commissioners Court, James Nortey, March 2016 Election, November 2016 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