You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

Sheryl Cole isn’t backing down from bid to replace Rep. Dawnna Dukes


Former Austin Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole, who is hoping to replace state Rep. Dawnna Dukes in the Legislature, does not appear to be backing down from her plans despite Dukes’ last-minute decision to renege on a promise to step down when the Legislature reconvenes on Tuesday.

Cole, a Democrat, on Tuesday released her fundraising totals and a list of high-profile endorsements and is holding a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

“We’ve received overwhelming support in a short period of time. It’s a sign, that has been shared with me time and again, of the community’s strong desire for a fresh start. We will stand united in the face of attacks on our children’s education, equality of opportunity, and our civil liberties,” Cole said in a statement.

Dukes is facing a criminal investigation over alleged misuse of legislative staff and campaign money. If she had left office as promised, it would have triggered a special election in the spring.

Cole had previously been deferential to Dukes’ plans, announced in September, to delay stepping down from her post once her current term expires, rather than leaving office immediately. When other House District 46 hopefuls had called on Dukes to resign immediately, rather than wait until her term expires, Cole declined to do so.

But now that Dukes has said she is reversing course, Cole is signaling that she will not be going away.

“It’s not about one person, it’s about the people. Too much is at stake. It is time for a fresh start,” Cole said.

Cole’s campaign-in-waiting has raised $60,000 with another $29,000 pledged, according to a press release. She listed endorsements from U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, state Sen. Kirk Watson and other high-profile Austin-area Democrats.

Other would-be candidates for Dukes’ seat, which covers parts of North Austin, East Austin, Manor and Pflugerville, include Democrats Jose “Chito” Vela III and Nnamdi Orakwue, Republican Gabriel Nila, Libertarian Kevin Ludlow and independent Adam Reposa.

Dukes in September said she was planning to step down due to medical issues related to a 2013 car crash. The announcement, however, came days after the Texas Rangers delivered their criminal investigation of Dukes to Travis County prosecutors. She has been accused of directing campaign staff to do personal work on her behalf. An American-Statesman investigation also found questionable campaign spending.

New Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore said she will be receiving a briefing on the case from the Rangers on Tuesday and will then decide whether to seek an indictment.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Texas News & Politics

NEW DETAILS: Police: Man fatally shot in North Austin, suspect still on the loose
NEW DETAILS: Police: Man fatally shot in North Austin, suspect still on the loose

Austin police are investigating a shooting that left a man dead in North Austin on Sunday night. Austin police Lt. Brian Gretzner said officers were sent out to an apartment complex in the 300 block of Carmen Court around 9:36 a.m. after getting calls for a man with traumatic injuries. When first responders arrived, they found a man who had been shot...
Warm, cloudy Monday expected in Austin, showers and storms will ramp up on Tuesday
Warm, cloudy Monday expected in Austin, showers and storms will ramp up on Tuesday

Monday forecast for Austin: Forecasters say the beginning of the week in Austin will be warm and cloudy before storms start rolling into the area on Tuesday. According to the National Weather Service, afternoon highs in the Austin metro area should peak at around 87 degrees. While skies will be mostly cloudy, rain is not expected to arrive until Tuesday...
Austin’s new Central Library opening delayed — again — to late this year
Austin’s new Central Library opening delayed — again — to late this year

The opening date for Austin’s new Central Library has been pushed back again, to this fall at the earliest, dismaying City Council members who said they don’t know how to defend the project to constituents. “It’s Groundhog Day,” said Council Member Ora Houston in a workshop last week, referring to the repeatedly vague...
Traffic Report 3/27/17

Interstate 35 (Travis County): The inside lane of the northbound access road will be closed at William Cannon Drive for 1,000 feet from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Thursday nights. The inside lane of the northbound access road will be closed at Slaughter Lane for a half-mile from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Thursday nights; the William Cannon...
Community news: Open house set on Parks Department’s ADA assessment

TRAVIS COUNTY DOWNTOWN AUSTIN Open house set on ADA assessment The city of Austin Parks and Recreation Department will host an open house meeting to present findings and recommendations of the American with Disabilities Act self-assessment and the department’s systemwide transition plan from 6 to 8 p.m. April 6. The meeting will be at the Austin...
More Stories