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Shea raises more than twice as much as nearest opponent for Pct. 2

Thursday, January 16, 2014 by Mark Richardson

When it comes to raising campaign funds, Brigid Shea leads the candidates in the Precinct 2 Travis County Commissioner race, with almost double the amount of contributions given to her two opponents combined. They are running for the seat vacated by Sarah Eckhardt in order to run for County Judge.


According to a Campaign Finance Report filed Wednesday, Shea has collected slightly more than $115,000 in her race for County Commissioner. Her opponents, Richard Jung and Garry Brown, reported $48,735 and $16,733 in contributions, respectively


Shea served on the Austin City Council from 1993 to 1996, and ran unsuccessfully for Austin mayor in 2012. She is active in the environmental movement and co-owns Carbon Shrinks LLC, an environmental consulting practice. She is also a co-founder of the Save Our Springs Alliance.


“From the beginning I’ve said this campaign is a big tent,” said Shea. “My contributors range from former political opponents to environmentalists and many in between. With so many important issues to work on in the community, we can’t afford to let ourselves be divided over personal disagreements. It’s crucial we have a civil dialogue and pursue opportunities to work together.”


Shea received the most large contributions from political action committees and large individual donors. She received three $5,000 donations from Jack Martin, Beau Armstrong, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. She also received more than a dozen contributions between $1,000 and $3,000. Her largest donation was for $6,680 for in-kind catering from Scott Roberts, the owner of the Salt Lick in Driftwood.


Her report lists cash on hand at $86,225.


Brown is a veteran of Democratic politics in Central Texas, having worked for Congressman Lloyd Doggett, former Travis County Commissioners Karen Huber and the Travis County Democratic Party. He currently serves as Public Relations Director for Travis County Constable Sally Hernandez.


Though he trails in contributions among the three candidates, Brown says he is determined to make up the difference knocking on doors and making phone calls in Precinct Two.


“My opponents do have much larger bank accounts than I have but hard work can be the great equalizer,” he said. “I’ve knocked on more than 8,000 doors and made more than 6,000 phone calls in order to connect with the voters.”


Almost all the contributions to his campaign are between $20 and $200, but his hard work may be paying off. Brown’s website lists endorsements from more than 100 Democratic supporters.


His report lists $5,460 cash on hand.


Jung is a political newcomer, but has extensive experience as both an attorney and business executive in the Austin area. He was CEO of an international semiconductor service company, but now runs a small legal practice in immigration law.


“I’m excited to roll up my sleeves and get to work for Travis County,” said Jung. “My campaign team and I have been talking directly with voters in Precinct 2 for months. The response has been incredible for a first-time candidate. It’s clear that voters are ready for new leadership with innovative ideas who can build bridges within the community and forge collaborative solutions to tackle our county’s most pressing problems.”


The majority of Jung’s contributions come from individuals and range from $10 to $1,000, though there were a few large donors. One individual, Paul Kim, contributed a total of $14,200 to the campaign, while Ramey Ko gave a $5,000 contribution. He also received a $1,000 contribution from the Austin/Travis County Emergency Medical Services PAC.

His report lists $52,663 in cash on hand.

The three candidates will face each other in the March 4 Democratic Primary. The winner will face Raymond Frank, a former Travis County Sheriff, who is unopposed in the Republican Primary.

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