About the Author
Jo Clifton is the Politics Editor for the Austin Monitor.
Enter a search term below to search the Austin Monitor.
Tuesday, July 24, 2018 by Jo Clifton
Fourth candidate enters race for District 8
Frank Ward, 36, threw his hat in the ring for the District 8 City Council seat on Monday with the endorsement of the current occupant of that seat, Council Member Ellen Troxclair. Troxclair, the only Republican on the dais, recently announced that she would not run for a second term. Ward joins three other candidates, all of them Democrats, in vying for the opportunity to represent Southwest Austin.
Ward is the vice president and director of client services for the Mach 1 Group, a public affairs firm. Ward said the company has numerous clients who are trade associations and nonprofits. He has previously worked for the public relations firm Public Strategies and for the Export-Import Bank of the United States. He noted that he had also worked for Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, during her career in the Texas Senate.
The candidate told the Austin Monitor that he was inspired by his mentor, former Sen. Richard Lugar, a Republican from Indiana, for whom he was an intern. Ward noted that he was student body president at Denison University in Ohio exactly 50 years after Lugar held that same position. “He was a big reason I got into government to begin with,” Ward said.
In a press release announcing his candidacy, Ward stressed three issues: tax reform, addressing traffic and reducing city regulations.
Troxclair has championed increasing the city’s homestead exemption every year she has been in office, although not successfully every year. Last year, a majority of Council declined to go along with her attempts to reduce homeowners’ taxes. This year, partially because of Council’s rejection of a pay agreement with Austin police, the majority of Council members decided there was enough money to increase the homestead exemption from 8 to 10 percent.
Ward has served as Troxclair’s appointee on the city’s Parks and Recreation Board since January. The other three candidates in the race so far are Rich DePalma, Bobby Levinski and Paige Ellis. DePalma also serves on the parks board. He was appointed by Mayor Steve Adler.
Ward lives in Circle C with his wife, Marion, and their three children.
Photo by John Flynn. This story has been corrected. Ward was student body president at Denison University, not class president, as was originally reported.
The Austin Monitor’s work is made possible by donations from the community. Though our reporting covers donors from time to time, we are careful to keep business and editorial efforts separate while maintaining transparency. A complete list of donors is available here, and our code of ethics is explained here.
Do you like this story?
There are so many important stories we don't get to write. As a nonprofit journalism source, every contributed dollar helps us provide you more coverage. Do your part by joining our subscribers in supporting our reporters' work.
Key Players & Topics In This Article
Austin City Council: The Austin City Council is the body with legislative purview over the City of Austin. It offers policy direction, while the office of the City Manager implements administrative actions based on those policies. Until 2012, the body contained seven members, including the city's Mayor, all elected at-large. In 2012, City of Austin residents voted to change that system and now 10 members of the Council are elected based on geographic districts. The Mayor continues to be elected at-large.
District 8: District 8 contains three distinct neighborhoods, Oak Hill, Circle C and Travis Country. The district is bounded on the east by Brodie Lane, on the south by the Travis-Hays county line, on the north by Bee Cave road and on the west by the winding Austin city limits line. It also has the city’s biggest and most infamous traffic bottleneck – the Oak Hill Y, the convergence of US 290 and SH 71, squeezing traffic heading to and from South MoPac Boulevard and out into the Hill Country.