Races grow crowded ahead of Nov. 6 Austin city elec­tions

Austin American-Statesman - - METRO & STATE - By El­iz­a­beth Fin­dell efind­ell@states­man.com

Ask Travis Dun­can why he’s run­ning for mayor of Austin, and he’ll tell you a tale. Of a city where elec­tric­ity and food are free and “a net­work of co­op­er­a­tive projects” pays the bills. Of the city he be­lieves this could be.

You prob­a­bly haven’t heard of Dun­can, a drum­mer and for­mer Tesla worker, and that would be un­der­stand­able. He’s a 28-yearold po­lit­i­cal new­comer plan­ning to run “as close to a zero-dol­lar cam­paign as pos­si­ble” against two well-es­tab­lished can­di­dates with strong com­mu­nity sup­port: Mayor Steve Adler and for­mer Coun­cil Mem­ber Laura Mor­ri­son.

But he’s one more can­di­date en­ter­ing the ring as the cal­en­dar flips a page closer to Elec­tion Day on Nov. 6. Five Austin City Coun­cil seats and the mayor’s seat are up for grabs, all with sit­ting in­cum­bents ex­pected to seek re-elec­tion.

No can­di­dates have an­nounced runs against Coun­cil Mem­bers Ann Kitchen of District 5 or Sabino “Pio” Ren­te­ria of District 3. The fil­ing dead­line for the elec­tion isn’t un­til Au­gust. Mean­while, here’s a roundup of who’s run­ning so far:

District 9

Re­cently an­nounced chal­lengers in­clude Danielle Skid­more, a civil trans­porta­tion en­gi­neer run­ning on a mo­bil­ity plat­form against Coun­cil Mem­ber Kathie Tovo in Cen­tral Aus- tin’s District 9.

Skid­more, who serves on the city’s LGBTQ Qual­ity of Life Com­mit­tee, has ad­vo­cated on var­i­ous ef­forts on the state level, in­clud­ing against the Leg­is­la­ture’s con­tentious bath­room bill pro­posal last year. In her run for City Coun­cil, her fo­cus is on find­ing both short — and long-term trans­porta­tion im­prove­ments, she said.

“The peo­ple need a voice that is re­lent­lessly fo­cused on mak­ing im­prove­ments to our mo­bil­ity chal­lenges,” she said. “I don’t think the coun­cil has done that well in gen­eral, and I don’t think the District 9 rep has done that well ei­ther.”

Skid­more, orig­i­nally from Philadel­phia, has lived in Austin 24 years. She sup­ports CodeNext, the city’s re­write of its land-use poli­cies, not­ing that Austin needs to “find ways to grow as a city and make room for all.”

Tovo has gained a coun­cil rep­u­ta­tion as a preser­va­tion sup­porter, with strong neigh­bor­hood sup­port, and an op­po­nent of busi­ness in­cen­tives. She was the only City Coun­cil mem­ber to make the tran­si­tion from the old at-large body to its new 10-1 district-based sys­tem and has served one term in each.

Un­sure whether that means she has reached her two-term limit,


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