Nov 9, 2022 - News

Austin voters weigh in on city council and bonds

Illustration of a thumbs up and a thumbs down with ballot elements in the background.

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Austin voters won clarity — but not conclusiveness — in a handful of key city council races.

Driving the news: The top two vote-getters in districts 3, 5 and 9 are headed for a runoff after a traffic jam of candidates meant that no one won more than 50% of the vote in those races, according to Travis County election results.

The runoff matchups: José Velásquez vs. Daniel Silva in District 3, which spans East Austin and east Central Austin.

  • Stephanie Bazan and Ryan Alter will face-off in South Austin's District 5.
  • In Central Austin's District 9, Zohaib Qadri will match up against either Linda Guerrero or Ben Leffler — Guerrero led as the second-place vote-getter by nearly 400 votes with virtually all precincts reporting early Wednesday.

Meanwhile: Incumbents Paige Ellis and Natasha Harper-Madison won their bids outright to return to council.

Separately: Austin voters gave a thumbs-up to more than $3 billion in bonds collectively sought by the Austin Independent School District, Austin Community College and the city of Austin.

  • The money will pay for security upgrades, new school buses and practice-field improvements at public schools, affordable housing units in the city and new health care job training facilities at the community college, among other things.
  • With all the propositions passing, a taxpayer with a home valued at roughly $500,000 who lives in the school and community college districts — and within the city limits — can expect to pay about $100 more per year in taxes.

Worth noting: Austin elected former city council member Greg Casar to his first term in Congress, representing a deeply blue district.

And finally: Efforts by conservatives to win control of the Round Rock school board appeared unsuccessful — for now — as no member of the "One Family" slate won outright, though a couple made it into runoffs.

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