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Riley handily takes Place 1 race; Martinez, Cole cruise to victory

Sunday, May 10, 2009 by Austin Monitor

In the race to fill Leffingwell’s Place 1 seat on the Council, Austin attorney Chris Riley defeated political activist Perla Cavazos with 66 percent of the vote. At 10 p.m. Riley took the stage at Scholz Garten, where his supporters had gathered for Saturday night, and thanked his supporters and campaign team. He then saluted his opponent Cavazos for a clean and issue-based campaign. 


“It was important to me to be able to stay focused on issues and Perla brought some very important issues to the table. I am optimistic about the things we can do in our city because the people of Austin are absolutely committed to this city.” 


“I am deeply humbled by the confidence shown in me tonight and this will  reinforce my effort to take on the challenges that need to be addressed,” he said.


Cavazos told In Fact Daily she was proud that the campaign had remained positive.


“Both Chris and I ran positive campaigns that were focused on the issues and I really appreciated that,” she said. “I think voters appreciate that too, and I look forward to working with Chris and other council members to continue to make this city great and more affordable for everybody and to have a structure of governance that is inclusive and brings more voices to the table.”


Cavazos praised her staff’s hard work and said the campaign had met all of its fundraising goals. “At the start of this campaign, I think a lot of people underestimated me. Maybe because I’m young, maybe because I’m short, maybe because I’m polite but I think we put up one hell of a fight.” She added that unfortunately, the campaign came up short, “this time.” 


In a race that was not heavily contested, Place 2 incumbent Council Member Mike Martinez received 85 percent of the votes over challenger Jose Quintero.


“I’m very, very humbled and appreciative of all the support,” he said. “To be reelected with 85 percent of the vote and be the sole person on the ballot who received more votes than anybody else tonight for me it affirms that I am doing all I can to represent the citizens of Austin. I’m looking forward to this new Council, I think we’re going to have one of the best City Councils we’ve ever had in the history of Austin.”


Other races included Place 5, with former Council Member and LBJ School professor Bill Spelman running unopposed; and Place 6, where incumbent Council Member Sheryl Cole had 83 percent over challenger Sam Osemene.

“I’m very happy,” Cole told In Fact Daily Saturday night. “I’ve been involved in a lot of issues that I’m very proud of…and I’m glad I’m going to get the opportunity to continue to be on the Council to move the city forward.”

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