Election Ticker: Almost Deadline Time

The latest news from the November 2018 campaign trail


Democratic attorney general candidate Justin Nelson was among the speakers at Saturday's Beto O'Rourke rally at Auditorium Shores. (Photo by Gary Miller)

The deadline to register to vote is Tuesday, Oct. 9. Get your affairs in order...

What's That ... Aura? It's not news when a campaign calls a reporter to add an endorsement – unless it's to their opponent's list. Last week we inadvertently omitted AURA (the land-use advocacy organization) from Mayor Steve Adler's list of organizational endorsements. Challenger Laura Morrison's campaign manager, Jolene Kiolbassa, promptly alerted us to the error: "We were even thinking of putting out a flier on that one," she said. Guess AURA is presumed not in good aura among Morrison voters...

A few more endorsements have rolled in since last week's tally, notably the Austin Neighborhoods Council endorsing Morrison. More precisely, that's the ANC Executive Committee, not actually the neighborhood associations that make up the umbrella coalition, but get no vote in the endorsement sweepstakes. New to Adler's list this week are the Friends of Hyde Park, Dove Springs Proud, and the Austin Asian American Political Action Committee. Unsurprisingly, the Travis County Republican Party endorsed Todd Phelps...

A couple of readers have reached out to the Chronicle about robocalls promoting Proposition K – if passed, it would require an "independent efficiency audit" of all city of Austin operations – and thanking them for signing the petition that put Prop K on the ballot. Unfortunately, both correspondents insist they signed no such petition, and are wondering what's the deal. We reached out to the Prop K campaign for comment. Michael Searle, organizer of the Prop K campaign, told us that the calls were either mistaken phone numbers or "somebody else in the household signed a petition." And he insisted they were live volunteer callers, not robocalls: "We do not have recorded messages going out at all."...

This might be the election of the viral video. The latest is from the TX-25 campaign of Julie Oliver – "Need," released last week (www.oliver2018.com), and according to the campaign, viral within hours. Like the earlier "Doors" ad for MJ Hegar (TX-31), the video tells Oliver's life story through the lens of her current campaign, as rising from her tale of being "homeless, pregnant, and forced to steal to eat at 17, how far she has come, and how we need each other to lift ourselves up from challenge and struggle." Oliver overcame her difficult beginnings to become an attorney and expert on health care law, and declares "health care affordability" and incumbent Roger Williams' opposition to Obamacare as major campaign issues. "The unscripted ad," says a press release, "was shot by WIN Media in Austin during a single day."...

Mo' Money: The third quarter filing period for campaign fundraising closed Sunday night, Sept. 30, but most of the totals won't be officially released for another week or so. A few campaigns, if they're doing well, announce their own numbers – and TX-21 Democratic candidate Joseph Kopser says he's doing very well, thank you. His campaign says he raised more than $930,000 in the third quarter – over his initial fundraising goal by more than $100,000 and he says, "more in this cycle than any candidate in the history of the district (including 30-year incumbent Lamar Smith)." The campaign says that's roughly equal to the total raised by GOP opponent Chip Roy in the first two quarters ($935,000, according to the Center for Responsive Politics). More official figures will be available soon...

Good news for Texas Dems who like to smoke marijuana: Lupe Valdez said during the gubernatorial debate last Friday that she'd support reducing the penalty for possession of two ounces or less from a class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail, to a class C, which is punishable by a fine only ($500 max). Even better news for Texas Dems who haven't been smoking too much of the stuff: Republican incumbent Greg Abbott agrees with Valdez...

Bond open houses continue this week and through October. Find one in your district. (Forums for districts 6, 9, and 10 have already been held.)

D2: Mon., Oct. 8, 4:30-6:30pm, Southeast Library, 5803 Nuckols Crossing

D1: Wed., Oct. 10, 6-8pm, Millennium Youth Ent. Complex, 1156 Hargrave

D7: Mon., Oct. 15, 4:30-6:30pm, North Village Library, 2505 Steck

D8: Tue., Oct. 16, 5:30-7:30pm, Circle C Community Center, 7817 La Crosse

D4: Sat., Oct. 20, noon-2pm, Gus Garcia Rec Center, 1201 E. Rundberg

D5: Mon., Oct. 22, 6:30-8:30pm, Manchaca Road Library, 5500 Manchaca

D3: Thu., Oct. 25, 6-8pm, Montopolis Rec Center, 1200 Montopolis

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

November 2018 elections, AURA, Steve Adler, Laura Morrison, Todd Phelps, Austin mayor, endorsements, Austin Neighborhoods Council, Travis County Republican Party, Proposition K, independent efficiency audit, Michael Searle, Julie Oliver, TX-25, MJ Hegar, TX-31, Roger Williams, fundraising, Joseph Kopser, TX-21

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