Wanted for Ballot: AISD Candidates

Tamala Barksdale has yet to declare

Tamala Barksdale has been silent about her electoral future.
Tamala Barksdale has been silent about her electoral future. (Photo by John Anderson)

Five seats, two candidates. Filing for the Austin Independent School District trustees election began on July 18, but almost two weeks into the process, only two people have actually filed paperwork to run, and education advocates are working hard to find someone, anyone, to fill three, or possibly four, vacant seats:

• District 1 (Northeast): After three terms, Trustee Cheryl Bradley has made it clear that she will not run again. However, so far there's no sign of a replacement.

• District 4 (Northwest): Board president Vince Torres made the unexpected announcement in April that he is stepping down after two terms. His surprise departure left a major gap and, like District 1, no name has emerged to replace him.

• District 6 (Southeast): Lori Moya also steps down after two terms. She already has a confirmed candidate to replace her: Former Austin Council of PTAs president Monica San­chez has filed the requisite paperwork with the district to run. However, she was seen in some quarters as too supportive of former superintendent Meria Carstarphen, and may well face opposition from education advocate and PR consultant Paul Saldaña.

• District 7 (Southwest): With Bradley's departure and if he is re-elected, then Robert Schneider becomes the longest-tenured member of the board. He has filed his paperwork to run again (and already made public his intention to run for board president if he wins). Neither of his two declared challengers – AMD creative director and district Boundary Advisory Committee member Yasmin Wag­ner and former teacher-turned-Realtor Theresa Bastian – has formally entered the race, but Wagner has at least designated a treasurer.

• At-Large Place 9: Trustee Tamala Barks­dale has been taciturn about her electoral future since some noncommittal statements in April. Education advocates are looking at Barksdale as the key to this election. If she doesn't run, there is at least one candidate rumored to be lined up to replace her. But if she does declare, she's likely to be unbeatable, and any challengers would likely either step aside or move into another slot. She's expected to make a statement of some kind this week or early next, but there is already mounting frustration about her silence: With 70 declared City Council candidates, it's taking weeks to get something as simple as campaign fliers printed. Until Barksdale moves, these races lag further and further behind.

READ MORE
More AISD
Public Notice: Dealing With a Surplus
Public Notice: Dealing With a Surplus
AISD real estate; a clean energy future

Nick Barbaro, July 28, 2017

AISD’s Big Balancing Act
AISD’s Big Balancing Act
The district is considering bringing a $1 billion bond to voters in November. That’s a lot of money. What would it do? And can the package keep everybody happy?

Richard Whittaker, June 23, 2017

More by Richard Whittaker
No Escape From <i>Island Zero</i>
No Escape From Island Zero
Rizzolli & Isles creator on her creature feature

Sept. 20, 2017

Texas Will Use Racial Maps in 2018 Elections
Texas Will Use Racial Maps in 2018 Elections
SCOTUS ruling puts stay on gerrymandered cases

Sept. 15, 2017

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

AISD, AISD trustees, AISD Board, November 2014 Election, Cheryl Bradley, Lori Moya, Vince Torres, Paul Saldaña, Monica San­chez, Theresa Bastian, Yasmin Wag­ner, Tamala Barks­dale

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)