Council Candidates a' Maying

Incumbents and newcomers file for City Council elections

In the 8-4-1 scenario – eight individual districts and two superdistricts that halve the city, with two council members elected from each half – the mayor would be the only truly at-large candidate, for a total of 13 council members. The Austin Center for Peace and Justice supports such a scenario.
In the 8-4-1 scenario – eight individual districts and two superdistricts that halve the city, with two council members elected from each half – the mayor would be the only truly at-large candidate, for a total of 13 council members. The Austin Center for Peace and Justice supports such a scenario.

Conventional political wisdom currently holds that several potential candidates for mayor are biding their time and waiting to see whether Austinites approve a new form of elections (e.g., geographic representation of some kind) next November. But a spate of recent filings for council seats – and one familiar name exploring a mayoral run – means this spring's elections could still hold some excitement.

Incumbents

All four incumbent City Council members whose terms are up have already filed for re-election. None of them wasted any time either, save Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole, who seriously considered a run for mayor but finally filed for re-election to Place 6 in late November.

Mayor: Lee Leffingwell (Filed Nov. 14)

Place 2: Mike Martinez (Filed Nov. 14)

Place 5: Bill Spelman (Filed Nov. 18)

Place 6: Sheryl Cole (Filed Nov. 30)

A Mayoral Challenger?

Former Council Member Brigid Shea, who served on the "green council" during the contentious early 1990s, filed paperwork Dec. 5 naming a campaign treasurer, but hasn't yet announced whether she will indeed run for mayor, officially saying only that she is seriously evaluating a potential run.

The TAG Team

A trio of insurgent candidates recently filed for council seats or announced their intentions to do so:

Kris Bailey, who ran for Place 3 last spring (garnering 6.5%) and earlier for a state House seat as a Libertarian, filed Dec. 14.

Laura Pressley, a businesswoman (bottled water) with a doctorate in chemistry and a background in the semiconductor industry and who's deeply involved with Fluoride Free Austin, filed Dec. 2.

Clay Dafoe, familiar to City Hall watchers for his recurrent addresses to council regarding any number of items on the day's agenda, has not yet filed but told the Chronicle he's considering it.

All three are involved to varying degrees with Texans for Accountable Government, a group "formed with the ambition of reigning in the intrusive and expanding reach of government which threatens to invade every facet of our lives"; Pressley serves on TAG's steering committee. None of the three has yet specified which seat they might run for, but it's unlikely they would run against one another.

  • More of the Story

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    City Hall and citizen advocates look toward a new model of representation – is the seventh time the charm?
  • CRC: Proposed Charter Changes

    Charter Revision Committee drafts recommendations to council

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

City Council, 2012 election

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