Local Elections Herald Epic Changes in the Capital City

Our future is now

We mention it in passing in the stories in this preview, but it's worth pausing for a sec to fully appreciate it: The upcoming November elections (and their inevitable December run-offs) will see the retirement and replacement of the last pre-10-1 Austin council member (Kathie Tovo) and leave only one member remaining (Leslie Pool) of the first 10-1 council, elected in 2014. For some of you, this was only yesterday, and you remember the issues at play in that wildass election, when all 10 seats were up and 87 people ran. (That's also when Austin voters rejected the previous, now-forgotten version of Project Connect.) For about 164,000 of you and your friends, you didn't live in Austin then and have no idea.

That's a good thing! That 2014 election was sorta disappointing to people who wanted 10-1 to be a clean break from the previous at-large city council, which operated in an atmosphere of consensus-building so cozy that it ended up violating the Texas Open Meetings Act, and was routinely elected by about 15% of Austin voters. Instead, we ended up turning Austin's political clock back a few years, relitigating things we thought had been decided, reintroducing divides that predated Kirk Watson's 1997 election as Mayor Wonderful. It would take a pandemic, and an explosion of police violence, and a national constitutional crisis, and Austin's endlessly rising cost of living despite all those disruptions, to really remake the Austin civic map.

This is the election when the next era of Austin's saga begins. Will it be one of continued prosperity and sexiness, or will the bottom fall out for real for the first time since 2001? Which of these outcomes should we root for if we'd like to rent a decent apartment? And will Austin withstand the heavy red pressure bearing down on its borders?

City Council Candidates


Phil Campero Brual

Celia Israel

Erica Nix

Kirk Watson

Anthony Bradshaw

Jennifer Virden

Gary S. Spellman


Misael D. Ramos

Clinton Rarey

Melonie House-Dixon

Natasha Harper-Madison (i)


José Velásquez

Daniela Silva

Gavino Fernandez, Jr.

José Noé Elías

Yvonne Weldon

Esala Wueschner


Ryan Alter

Bill Welch

Ken Craig

Stephanie Bazan

Aaron Velazquez Webman

Brian Anderson II


Paige Ellis (i)

Richard Smith

Antonio D. Ross

Kimberly P. Hawkins


Zena Mitchell

Zohaib "Zo" Qadri

Greg Smith

Joah Spearman

Kym Olson

Ben Leffler

Linda Guerrero

Tom Wald

(Listed in ballot order)

Got something to say? The Chronicle welcomes opinion pieces on any topic from the community. Submit yours now at austinchronicle.com/opinion.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Mike Clark-Madison
Austin at Large: Back (and Forth) to the Future
Austin at Large: Back (and Forth) to the Future
At some point Austin history will stop looping upon itself. Until next time …

March 17, 2023

Austin at Large: The Train Can’t Be Too Late
Austin at Large: The Train Can’t Be Too Late
It’s going to be sad, so sad, when Mayor Pete’s money comes if Austin’s not ready

March 10, 2023


November 2022 Elections, Kathie Tovo, Kirk Watson, Texas open Meetings Act, Leslie Pool

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle