Run-Off Election Ticker: Getting a Li’l Testy!

Democracy itself is at stake. Just ask Frank Ward.


Frank Ward (Photo by John Anderson)

If Austin residents don't elect Frank Ward to City Council this month, they might as well kiss true democracy goodbye. During a Monday forum hosted by the League of Women Voters with the six contenders in the Dec. 11 run-off, Ward argued his "dissenting" GOP voice is a necessity as lone Council conservative Ellen Troxclair leaves her post. "It is absolutely critical in a working democracy that we have a difference of opinion, constructive criticism, and the opportunity for an exchange of ideas," said Ward. "We are dangling on the precipice of ridding ourselves of that now." If there's no dissent, we need to decide "whether or not we should even meet as a Council." His opponent Paige Ellis pointedly distinguished herself as a "loud progressive" voice, vowing to protect environmentally sensitive areas (like Barton Springs) in District 8 while still managing economic growth and stressing her support for the city's lease agreement with Planned Parenthood.

Meanwhile, in District 3's sibling-rivalry encore presentation, the oft-elusive Susana Almanza slammed her brother/opponent, incumbent Pio Renteria, for turning the district into the "most unaffordable" one, for which she was rapped on the knuckles by the moderator for making "personal attacks." By contrast, District 1 contenders Mariana Salazar and Natasha Harper-Madison amicably agreed on expanding health care, parks, and grocery stores and improving relations with Austin police...

Cops for Ward, Everyone Else for Ellis: In addition to former opponents Rich DePalma and Bobby Levinski, Mayor Steve Adler and CMs Ann Kitchen, Delia Garza, and Greg Casar have all endorsed Ellis. So have Wendy Davis, congressional aspirant Julie Oliver, and state Reps. Gina Hinojosa and Donna Howard. Meanwhile, Ward has landed endorsements from the Austin Police Association, Austin Fire Association, and the Austin Board of Realtors...

And on the Eastside: Former D3 candidate Amit Motwani threw his support to Renteria, saying he's "moved and impressed with his interest in soliciting our ideas and our long-term involvement in helping to address economic disparities in District 3 and in Austin at large." Harper-Madison on Wednesday announced the support of two at-large Council veterans, state Rep.-elect Sheryl Cole and former Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez. In her endorsement, Cole noted that "it's important that the black community in Austin can look to the City Council dais and see themselves reflected in our government."

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

December 2018 run-off election, Frank Ward, Paige Ellis, Susana Almanza, Pio Renteria, Natasha Harper-Madison, Mariana Salazar, Steve Adler, Wendy Davis, Austin Police Association, Amit Motwani, Sheryl Cole, Mike Martinez

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