The Austin Chronicle

Challenger Maggie Ellis Unseats Edward Smith in 3rd Court of Appeals Race

Progressive values win tight runoff

By Lina Fisher, May 31, 2024, News

In a close runoff with incumbent Judge Edward Smith in the 3rd Court of Appeals, Place 2 – who held the seat since he flipped it blue in 2018 – challenger Maggie Ellis emerged victorious Tuesday night, winning by roughly 250 votes in Travis County (2% of those who voted here). Across all 24 counties, Ellis won by a much larger margin – roughly 65% to 35% of the vote. Ellis gained the support of the majority of Central Texas Democratic clubs for her progressive stance. Her campaign stressed her lived experience with homelessness and poverty, as well as professional experience as an administrative law judge, prosecutor, and attorney representing families. If she wins in November, she will be the first openly gay woman elected to an appellate bench in Texas. On social media Tuesday night, she wrote, “From the beginning, this campaign was about bringing lived experience, efficiency, and a proven commitment to Democratic values to this seat.” Ellis told the Chronicle she’s especially grateful to volunteers from 10 of the counties served by this court. “[They] put out signs, knocked on doors, dropped lit, made calls, and helped to make direct contact with over 6,000 voters during the runoff. I could not have done it without them.”

Editor' Note Thursday, May 30, 11:25am: This story previously described Travis County results, and failed to describe results from all voting counties. The Chronicle regrets the error.

Copyright © 2024 Austin Chronicle Corporation. All rights reserved.