AISD Board Races
AISD fills up five seats
Reviewed by Richard Whittaker, Fri., Nov. 11, 2016
Sometimes it can be hard to celebrate a victory. As the results rolled in, and the situation for Democrats nationwide seemed bleaker, newly elected Austin Independent School District trustee Cindy Anderson joked that, like many Americans, she had considered emigrating. But, she said, "I just got elected; I can't move."
Five of the district's nine seats were on the ballot, and three featured unchallenged incumbents: Ann Teich in District 3, Amber Elenz in D5, and Yasmin Wagner in D7. District 2 incumbent Jayme Mathias drew a challenger in Adolphus "Andy" Anderson, and former Austin Council of PTAs Vice President Cindy Anderson (no relation) ran against attorney David Ryan Quintanilla to replace outgoing At-Large Place 8 trustee Gina Hinojosa, now headed to the state Legislature. The board ended up adding one Anderson: Cindy beat out Quintanilla 56% to 44%, while Mathias bested Andy by a whopping 68% to 32%.
The new board will come with undoubted tensions. Mathias has been a controversial figure, even if important groups like Education Austin finally endorsed him. But Cindy Anderson said she felt that both the teachers' union and board member Paul Saldaña were responsible for some needlessly negative attacks against her that ignored her service on district bodies. "At the end of the day," she said, "regardless of the politics, I've been doing this for 10 years."
Anderson has a complicated history with Saldaña. In 2014, when he first ran for the empty D6 seat, Anderson initially backed one of his opponents, Austin Council of PTAs President Monica Sanchez. "When it came to the run-off, I supported Paul," she asserted, "and I have worked with him for a number of years." Now with the dust settled, she said, "I'm going to work with who I'm going to work with ... but there's some serious apologies that are due."