Jan 10, 2022 - News

Meet Austin's District 4 candidates

Austin City Council map. Photo courtesy of City of Austin

Early voting for the Jan. 25 special election to fill the District 4 City Council seat left vacant by Greg Casar begins Monday.

The big picture: Casar announced in November that he would leave his council seat, following U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett's decision to run in the newly drawn District 37, which is centered on Austin.

  • That left an opening for Casar to run for Doggett's old seat, which takes in parts of East Austin and eastern Travis County and stretches down to San Antonio.

Here's a look at the seven candidates vying to represent the North-Central district, which includes a small area of Windsor Park to the south, runs between Lamar Boulevard and Dessau Road and stretches north to Braker Lane:

  • Jose "Chito" Vela III is an immigration and criminal defense attorney, who has experience in the Texas Attorney General's office and as general counsel to a state House member. Casar endorsed Vela in the race.
  • Jade Lovera has said she's interested in reducing crime and addressing affordability issues. She's a lifelong District 4 resident, according to her campaign website.
  • Melinda Schiera was vice president and president of the North Austin Civic Association and is a freelance marketing data analyst, according to her campaign website.
  • Ramesess II Setepenre is a ride-share driver, who ran last year and received 8.4% of the vote.
  • Isa Boonto is an art teacher at Navarro Early College High School and served as president of the North Austin Civic Association.
  • Amanda Rios has lived in Austin for 30 years and worked with refugees in Houston and schools in Austin as a bilingual teacher, according to her campaign website.
  • Monica Guzmán ran for the seat in 2014, but received less than 7% of the vote. Since, Guzmán has served on the city's reimagining public safety task force.

Of note: Only voters in District 4 can vote in this election. A runoff, if needed, is tentatively scheduled for March 22.


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