December Run-Off Election
Visit austinchronicle.com/elections for more information on the contests, and on how – and when – you need to voice your choice.
District 6: Jimmy Flannigan
Incumbent Flannigan is the clear choice for voters in Northwest Austin. Representing the purplest and most suburban Council district, Flannigan has shown his commitment to progressive principles by leading on issues like criminal justice reform. He's taken hard votes that he thinks reflect the views of many in his misunderstood district. Those votes, to some degree, inspired all three of his challengers to run against him; Mackenzie Kelly, who now faces Flannigan in the run-off, is committed to reversing, or at least obstructing, the good and needed work that's been done to create true equitable public safety and justice for all of Austin. She should not be given that chance.
District 10: Alison Alter
Drawing on her academic background, Alter has proven to be a studious representative, coming to meetings and staff briefings prepared with probing questions. In 2019, she spearheaded an ongoing third-party audit of how the Austin Police Department has (mis)handled sexual assault cases, and in the fiscal year 2021 budget, she secured funding for two new ambulances for Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services, along with more medics to staff them. Alter voted against easing the ordinance prohibiting public camping in 2019, out of concern that the city did not have the strategies and services in place to reduce homelessness. She has focused on those efforts since, such as the city's purchasing motels to convert into supportive housing. Her run-off opponent, Jennifer Virden, brings none of that expertise or commitment to the table and is simply a voice of conservative backlash; District 10 deserves much better.
District 5: Lynn Boswell
Boswell combines time as an Austin ISD volunteer and president of the Austin Council of PTAs with demonstrated success as an advocate for young people and education in other contexts. Her work to abolish the juvenile curfew, to eliminate Capital Metro fares for K-12 students, and to sway the Legislature with Just Fund It TX shows she has the chops to raise AISD's issues – maybe even recapture reform – with those who can help make change happen. While her run-off opponent, Jennifer Littlefield, is clearly dedicated to AISD, having been an influential volunteer on the committee that developed the $1 billion 2017 bond program, she is the de facto voice of continuity with the district's past practices at a time when we feel AISD needs the opposite. Third-place finisher Piper Stege Nelson has endorsed Boswell, as has Education Austin.
At-Large Place 8: Noelita Lugo
We're endorsing Lugo's combination of passionate advocacy for AISD families during the controversial "School Changes" process with professional policy expertise and commitment to equity and anti-racism. As in the D5 race, Lugo's run-off opponent, Leticia Moreno Caballero, was a leader of the 2017 bond committee and is more aligned with the AISD status quo at a time when we think the board needs to head in a different direction. Lugo has been endorsed by runner-up Jared Breckenridge and Education Austin.