Travis County Election News

Texas GOP files suit to remove Blake Farenthold from ballot

Texas GOP files suit to remove Blake Farenthold from ballot

The Republican Party of Texas is suing the Texas secretary of state over an election filing deadline that prevents it from removing embattled U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold from the ballot.  The move is in response to Farenthold’s announcement that he won’t seek re-election in the spring. Farenthold, whose district includes parts of Bastrop and Caldwell counties, made the decision...
Eckhardt, Shea draw no challengers as local 2018 races come into focus

Eckhardt, Shea draw no challengers as local 2018 races come into focus

Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt, Commissioner Brigid Shea and a handful of other county officials essentially clinched new terms this week after no one filed to run against them in the 2018 elections. District Clerk Velva Price, County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir and County Treasurer Dolores Ortega Carter also drew no challengers before the filing deadline passed Monday evening. “It’s been...
With Travis bonds approved, officials look to jump-start projects

With Travis bonds approved, officials look to jump-start projects

After Travis County voters signed off on a $185 million roads, parks and drainage bond package this week, the Commissioners Court will likely move forward Thursday on an unprecedented approach of hiring consultants to speed up project completion. During a special voting session Thursday, commissioners will decide whether to accept a county staff recommendation to hire a program manager consultant...

Community election news: Lago Vista gets new mayor, 2 council members

TRAVIS COUNTY LAGO VISTA New mayor, council members elected Lago Vista voters ousted two City Council incumbents Tuesday. Retired Coca-Cola sales executive David Williams unseated Council Member Mark Tippetts in Place 1 with 67 percent of the vote. Dick Weatherly, who worked as director of obstetrical anesthesia at a hospital before retiring, defeated Place 5 Council Member Stephanie Smith with 64...
Unofficial results show voters approve Travis County bond

Unofficial results show voters approve Travis County bond

Travis County voters signed off on a $185 million roads, parks and drainge bond package, according to final unofficial results. About 73 percent of voters approved of Proposition A, which covers $93.4 million in roads and drainage projects, amounting to 68,917 votes. Similarly, about 73 percent of voters approved of Proposition B, which covers $91.5 million in parks and land conservation projects...
INFORMING VOTERS: Austin-area school bonds top Nov. 7 ballot measures

INFORMING VOTERS: Austin-area school bonds top Nov. 7 ballot measures

Voters on Tuesday will decide on the $1.1 billion Austin school district bond package, the largest attempted in Central Texas. The bonds would pay to build more than a dozen schools, revamp deteriorating campuses and address overcrowding. The Austin district lumped all of the projects into an all-or-nothing proposition after voters rejected half of its 2013 bond package, which was broken into four...
Viewpoints: Go vote on ballot packed with high-dollar bond packages

Viewpoints: Go vote on ballot packed with high-dollar bond packages

Tuesday is Election Day — and though there are no big-name candidates for office, the ballot does offer several items too important for Austin voters to sit out. We’ve said it time and again: It is during nonpresidential elections when citizens help decide measures with the most direct impact on people’s lives. Eligible voters should not miss their opportunity to make their voices...
Travis County voters to decide on $185 million bonds

Travis County voters to decide on $185 million bonds

Thomas Fritzinger knows firsthand the danger posed by traffic on FM 969, the road that runs east through Travis County to Bastrop County and is the only access point for residents of Austin’s Colony. Fritzinger’s home faces the intersection of FM 969 and Hunter’s Bend Road. About twice a month, he says, he hears the familiar screeching and slamming noises of traffic accidents occurring...
Viewpoints: Make your voice heard on two Travis County ballot items

Viewpoints: Make your voice heard on two Travis County ballot items

Judging by early voting results so far, Austin voters have not flocked to the polls to weigh in on the Austin Independent School District’s $1.05 billion bond package on the Nov. 7 ballot, despite ample news coverage and talk on social media about it. Nor have they moved in masses to cast ballots on Travis County $184.9 million bond package, though it contains measures for roads and parks, both...
AHEAD OF THE VOTE: Select driver’s license offices to open Saturday to issue election IDs

AHEAD OF THE VOTE: Select driver’s license offices to open Saturday to issue election IDs

Select driver’s license offices will be opening throughout Texas on Saturday – including in Travis, Williamson and Bell counties – to issue election identification certificates. People can also obtain the election IDs at any driver’s license office during regular business hours. However, select offices will additionally be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Texas&rsquo...
Group opposing Austin school bonds misses finance report deadline

Group opposing Austin school bonds misses finance report deadline

A group lobbying against the Austin school district’s $1.1 billion bond referendum failed to file a required campaign finance report earlier this month, violating the election code, according to an ethics complaint filed against the group. The Save East Austin Schools political action committee was required to file a 30-day campaign finance report Oct. 10 with the Texas Ethics Commission and...
Viewpoints: Road, drainage fixes needed — but parks can wait

Viewpoints: Road, drainage fixes needed — but parks can wait

On Nov. 7, as Austin school district voters consider a tough choice to approve a $1.05 billion bond package — which this editorial board has endorsed — voters throughout Travis County will also be considering a $184.9 million bond package for roads, drainage and parks that would increase the property tax burden. Unlike the Austin school bonds, which will pass or fail on one ballot issue...
PolitiFact: Group wrongly understates county bond impact

PolitiFact: Group wrongly understates county bond impact

Proponents of Travis County transportation and parks bond proposals on the November ballot made an enticing pitch to older homeowners in a mailer, telling them that their taxes are frozen and they won’t pay more if the bonds pass. Travis Forward, a pro-bonds PAC, said in the mailer: “The Travis County propositions will not raise your taxes! If you are 65 or older, your property taxes are...
AUSTIN SCHOOL BOND FORUM: Questions of segregation, inequity addressed

AUSTIN SCHOOL BOND FORUM: Questions of segregation, inequity addressed

School and community leaders Wednesday night debated whether the Austin school district’s $1.1 billion bond measure would benefit students equally across the district, and raised issues such as the bond’s tax impact, segregation in the schools and how to address underenrolled schools. Trustee Ted Gordon said that while he has concerns with aspects of the bond, its failure would leave...
Ex-Council Member Zimmerman joins East Austin foes to oppose AISD bond

Ex-Council Member Zimmerman joins East Austin foes to oppose AISD bond

An unlikely alliance has formed to oppose the Austin school district’s $1.1 billion bond measure in November. The Save East Austin Schools political action committee, which says the bond proposal will worsen segregation and do little for the district’s neediest students, says one of the group’s stronger allies is the Travis County Taxpayers Union, led by former Austin City Council...
Trump’s rhetoric drawing full field of Democrats to congressional race

Trump’s rhetoric drawing full field of Democrats to congressional race

It’s not unusual for the election of a Republican president to bring a surge of Democrats seeking seats in the midterm elections. But Texas Democratic Party leaders say the latest outpouring of enthusiasm and often anger-fueled passion spurred by President Donald Trump’s election is unmatched. “I’ve been recruiting candidates in Texas for years, and I’ve never seen an...
Travis County ditches plan to craft its own voting system

Travis County ditches plan to craft its own voting system

The Travis County clerk’s office is abandoning a nearly decade-long effort to craft its own voting system, opting instead to pick one of the existing voting machine systems from a private company, officials announced Tuesday. “We’re going to proceed with getting a new voting system,” County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir told the Commissioners Court during its Tuesday meeting. &ldquo...
Viewpoints: It’s time for Rep. Dawnna Dukes to step down

Viewpoints: It’s time for Rep. Dawnna Dukes to step down

Twice now, Rep. Dawnna Dukes has rejected offers by the Travis County District Attorney’s office to drop a corruption case against her in exchange for Dukes’ resignation. She first rejected then-DA Rosemary Lehmberg’s offer in September. On Tuesday, she did the same with DA Margaret Moore’s deal. Dukes, who has denied any wrongdoing, now heads to court in October to face 13...
Officials: 17 Travis County voters cast ballots twice in 2016 election

Officials: 17 Travis County voters cast ballots twice in 2016 election

Travis County elections officials confirmed Thursday they have identified 17 voters who cast ballots twice in the 2016 general election. Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir said the double voters were discovered during a routine audit conducted after the election. The voters come from different political backgrounds. Some have Democratic voting histories, while others had historically voted Republican...
Commentary: On school bonds, it’s time to go in for all of Austin

Commentary: On school bonds, it’s time to go in for all of Austin

When your school district includes 130 buildings with an average age of 46 years, major renovations will be in order. It is time for Austin to go all in for a school bond that declares our commitment to education across the whole city. The current proposed bond package serves some areas well, neglects others, and doesn’t do enough to address the loss of students to charter schools and Austin...
Taxpayers Union claims AISD exaggerated T.A. Brown Elementary damage

Taxpayers Union claims AISD exaggerated T.A. Brown Elementary damage

The Travis County Taxpayers Union has asked the Austin school district to halt any plans to demolish T.A. Brown Elementary, alleging the structural damage that prompted the sudden closure of the school was exaggerated to win over voters for a proposed November bond election. The Austin school board is slated to call for the bond election Monday night. While the list of projects and dollar amount isn&rsquo...
Austin trustees’ new bond plan calls for LASA to move south and grow

Austin trustees’ new bond plan calls for LASA to move south and grow

The nationally ranked Liberal Arts and Science Academy will move out of LBJ High School to become a stand-alone school on the Johnston campus in East Austin under a bond proposal expected to go before voters in November. Eastside Memorial High School, currently housed at the former Johnston High campus, would move to the Alternative Learning Center, formerly the original L.C. Anderson High School...
Matt Mackowiak beats Don Zimmerman in race to lead Travis County GOP

Matt Mackowiak beats Don Zimmerman in race to lead Travis County GOP

Matt Mackowiak, a political strategist who vowed to reinvigorate the Travis County Republican Party, narrowly edged out former Austin City Council Member Don Zimmerman in the race for chair of the county party. Mackowiak, who had been serving as the party’s executive vice chair, won Tuesday night on a 46-38 vote over Zimmerman. Zimmerman had played up his experience in local politics, including ...
Final results: Voters approve all 3 Travis County ESD propositions

Final results: Voters approve all 3 Travis County ESD propositions

Voters approved propositions in three Travis County emergency services districts in Saturday’s election. ESD 15 creation In Southeastern Travis County, 94 percent of voters approved adding a second emergency services district over an existing one — essentially a shortcut to allow taxes to be raised above the legal maximum. The existing Emergency Services District 11 provides emergency...
West Lake Hills: South wins election to Place 3 on City Council

West Lake Hills: South wins election to Place 3 on City Council

Beth South defeated Ambrose Krumpe in the West Lake Hills City Council election for Place 3 with approximately 86 percent of the votes, 165-27. South led after early voting results by a margin of 123-12. South said by email on Election Night that she is grateful for the voter support and for the questions and comments from resident during her campaign. “I’m so pleased to have earned the...
Polls open on Election Day for many cities in Austin area

Polls open on Election Day for many cities in Austin area

Today is Election Day, with municipal elections across Central Texas. Some notable elections to watch: Round Rock school bonds While the bonds have the support of the city of Round Rock and the Round Rock Chamber of Commerce, critics say the cost of paying back the debt to businesses and residents is prohibitive. The $572.1 million bond package is split into three propositions: • Proposition...

Small corner of Travis County to vote on tax for emergency services

In a tiny, quiet, lakeside corner of far northwestern Travis County, about 700 voters will have a choice this May: to keep their sales tax at 8.25 percent or cut it back to 7.25 percent. But the question won’t be phrased that way on the ballot. Instead, thanks to a quirk of timing, it will simply ask if another penny of every dollar spent in the unincorporated areas surrounding the tiny town...
New Southeast Travis district would raise taxes for fire protection

New Southeast Travis district would raise taxes for fire protection

Southeastern Travis County voters have a choice this spring whether to add a second emergency services district over an existing one — essentially a shortcut to allow taxes to be raised above the legal maximum. Vote yes and emergency services district property taxes in the area will likely double, from an average of $115 per year to an average of $230. Vote no and there might be no immediate...
Lawmaker pulls bill to change early voting in Texas

Lawmaker pulls bill to change early voting in Texas

The future of a bill that trims down the early voting period is uncertain after its author withdrew it from committee consideration Monday following logistical concerns from the attorney general’s office and county election officials. House Bill 288, authored by state Rep. Mark Keough, R-The Woodlands, would have shrunk the early voting period from 12 to seven days and pushed it closer to Election...
Election officials: Hundreds of Texans might have voted improperly

Election officials: Hundreds of Texans might have voted improperly

Texas election officials have acknowledged that hundreds of people were allowed to bypass the state’s toughest-in-the-nation voter ID law and improperly cast ballots in the November presidential election after signing a sworn statement instead of showing a photo ID. The chief election officers in two of the state’s largest counties are considering whether to refer cases to prosecutors...
First look: Travis County sues over emails sought by Laura Pressley

First look: Travis County sues over emails sought by Laura Pressley

Travis County is suing the state attorney general’s office to block the release of records sought by former Austin City Council candidate Laura Pressley, who is involved in long-running litigation over her 2014 loss to District 4 Council Member Greg Casar. The records request is part of Pressley’s effort to question the validity of elections in Travis County. However, she disputes the...
By the numbers: Tuesday’s runoff elections in Central Texas

By the numbers: Tuesday’s runoff elections in Central Texas

Tuesday is election day for a handful of runoffs from last month’s general election. Here’s a by-the-numbers look at the runoffs in Central Texas: 5 — Percent turnout expected in Travis County, compared with 65 percent turnout for the November general election. 3 — Seats that will be decided on the San Marcos City Council: mayor (Ruben Becerra vs. John Thomaides) and two City...

Travis, Hays see low turnouts in early voting for runoff elections

One month after a record-setting, high-turnout general election, only about 2 percent of Travis and Hays counties’ registered voters participated in early voting for runoff elections, perhaps due to cold weather and voter fatigue, election officials said. But the nippy weather didn’t stop 32-year-old San Marcos resident Aniekan Umobong from leaving work at UPS early to cast his ballot...
What you need to know as early voting begins in the Dec. 13 runoffs

What you need to know as early voting begins in the Dec. 13 runoffs

We haven’t seen the last of the 2016 elections. Early voting begins Thursday and runs through Dec. 9 for the Dec. 13 runoff, featuring several local races in which no one won a majority of the vote Nov. 8. What you need to know about the year’s final election: What’s on the ballot: Most Central Texas voters get to pick two board members for Austin Community College: Michael J. Lewis...
For unauthorized immigrant community, Trump’s election sparks fear

For unauthorized immigrant community, Trump’s election sparks fear

As election results began pouring in Tuesday night showing Republican candidate Donald Trump with a surprising lead, Sheridan Aguirre received a phone call from his 10-year-old brother. He was worried that Trump would win the presidency and deport his family members, said Aguirre, who is an immigrant and works for the immigrant advocacy group United We Dream. “He called me crying, and I told...
Central Texas school board elections: Cindy Anderson wins in Austin

Central Texas school board elections: Cindy Anderson wins in Austin

Cindy Anderson clinched the win in the at-large race on the Austin school board against David Quintanilla, 56 percent to 44 percent. Anderson, a longtime district volunteer, said she felt good about the early returns but didn’t want to assume a win until the final vote was counted. “I’m really honored to have been elected to do this work that I’ve been so passionate about for...
Travis County Democratic watch party turns somber

Travis County Democratic watch party turns somber

Several Travis County Democrats were in tears and disbelief by early Wednesday morning as the likelihood of Hillary Clinton winning the presidency waned. Hundreds of people in high spirits packed The Driskill Hotel Tuesday night for the Travis County Democratic Party watch party. People posed with cutouts of Hillary Clinton and wore t-shirts with phrases that supporters had reclaimed from Donald Trump...
Austin transportation bond passes with 59.1 percent of the vote

Austin transportation bond passes with 59.1 percent of the vote

The city of Austin has voters’ permission to borrow $720 million for transportation projects, an unprecedented amount for that purpose that Mayor Steve Adler said will transform Austin mobility. A ballot proposition authorizing that borrowing passed with 59.1 percent of the vote once all the ballots were tallied early Wednesday morning. “Now the work begins,” Adler had said at a...

Democrats Moore, Hernandez win Travis County DA, sheriff’s races

A new era of law and order in Travis County is in place with the election of two new Democrats, Sally Hernandez to sheriff and Margaret Moore to district attorney. The party’s lengthy hold on the D.A.’s office continues with Moore’s decisive win over Maura Phelan, 66 percent to 34 percent. Hernandez also easily trounced her Republican rival, Joe Martinez, with 60 percent of the vote...
Jimmy Flannigan ousts City Council Member Don Zimmerman

Jimmy Flannigan ousts City Council Member Don Zimmerman

Austin City Council hopeful Jimmy Flannigan declared victory before the counting was finished on Election Day votes. That came after District 6 Council Member Don Zimmerman indicated to reporters he did not expect to overcome Flannigan’s strong lead in early voting results. “Don has pretty much said there’s no way to overcome the early voting,” said Tim Kelly, Zimmerman&rsquo...
More returns show two incumbents, one challenger ahead for LISD seats

More returns show two incumbents, one challenger ahead for LISD seats

For final results, click here. At midnight, results remain relatively the same as they were earlier. In Place 3, with 44,756 votes counted, incumbent Pam Waggoner is winning over Chris Remy, 56.6 percent to 43.4 percent. In Place 4, with 40,953 votes counted, incumbent Grace Barber-Jordan is leading Scott Rowe, 52 percent to 48 percent. In Place 5, with 38,077 votes counted, incumbent Russell Bundy...
Travillion, Daugherty claim seats on Travis County court

Travillion, Daugherty claim seats on Travis County court

With all polling locations reporting, Republican incumbent Gerald Daugherty claims a narrow victory over Democratic opponent David Holmes, with 52 percent of the vote. Early in the morning on Nov. 9, Democrat Jeff Travillion can claim a strong victory over Republican opponent Pat McCord and Green Party opponent Ashely Gordon. Travillion garnered 67.66 percent of the vote, McCord garnered 25.82 percent...
Joe Martinez admits defeat to Sally Hernandez in Travis sheriff’s race

Joe Martinez admits defeat to Sally Hernandez in Travis sheriff’s race

10:37 p.m. update: Results from ballots cast on Tuesday have done virtually nothing to dent Constable Sally Hernandez’s sizable lead over Joe Martinez in the race for Travis County sheriff. The latest update posted at 10:30 p.m. still showed Hernandez with 62 percent of the vote compared to Martinez’s 31 percent. 8:15 p.m. update: Republican Joe Martinez said he “wishes the best&rdquo...
Margaret Moore takes big lead in Travis DA race

Margaret Moore takes big lead in Travis DA race

1 a.m.: Unofficial results from early Wednesday confirm that Margaret Moore won the Travis County District Attorney race and Sally Hernandez won the sheriff’s race. For the full story, click here.9:45 p.m.: The margin of Margaret Moore’s lead in the Travis County’s district attorney’s race has not changed.Moore’s lead has stayed firm at 67 percent following the counting...
AISD candidate Cindy Anderson maintains lead over David Quintanilla

AISD candidate Cindy Anderson maintains lead over David Quintanilla

For final results, click here. With 159,357 votes counted, the percentages in both contested races remain the same as they were an hour ago. Results still are not final, but Austin school board at-large District 8 candidate Cindy Anderson maintains a comfortable lead over David Quintanilla, 56 percent to 44 percent. In District 2, which represents the east and southeast portions of the school district...
Austin City Council: Zimmerman out, three incumbents in, one runoff

Austin City Council: Zimmerman out, three incumbents in, one runoff

12:30 a.m. update: Three Austin City Council members held their seats easily Tuesday, while one — Council Member Don Zimmerman — lost decisively to challenger Jimmy Flannigan. Council Member Sheri Gallo is headed to a runoff against Alison Alter in West Austin’s District 10. Gallo received 48 percent to Alter’s 37 percent, with Rob Walker and Nicholas Virden snagging the rest...
Austin transportation bond passes with 59 percent of the vote

Austin transportation bond passes with 59 percent of the vote

12:30 a.m. update: It’s final. The city of Austin transportation bond passed with 59.13 percent of the vote: 181,873 voting yes, 125,683 voting no. 12:15 a.m. update: With 87 percent of election day vote counted, and almost 300,000 votes tallied (counting the huge early vote), the $720 million transportation bond is well on its way to passage. About 59.1 percent of voters have said yes to the...
Travis sheriff candidate’s mailer singles out opponent’s marital history

Travis sheriff candidate’s mailer singles out opponent’s marital history

Joe Martinez, the Republican candidate for Travis County sheriff, highlighted the marriage history of Democratic opponent Sally Hernandez in a recent campaign mailer. Under a section labeled “personal life,” the mailer mentions under Martinez’s name that he has been “married to one woman,” who has since died. Hernandez was “married six times to four different men...
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