Adler cruises to second term as Austin mayor
In a landslide victory, Steve Adler won his re-election as mayor of Austin on Tuesday and will serve another four years in office.
With voters coming out in record numbers in Travis County, Adler earned 61 percent of the vote, overpowering his biggest challenger, former Council Member Laura Morrison, along with five other candidates.
Voters first elected Adler in 2014 to serve as mayor under Austin’s new 10-1 Council district system, in which 10 geographic districts replaced six at-large positions. Adler, a civil rights and eminent domain attorney, has established himself as both an earnest compromiser and someone who expects things to happen quickly in the city.
“This community has said very clearly that they want us to look forward,” Adler said at his victory party at the Belmont in downtown Austin, with his wife, Diane Land, and three daughters standing beside him.
“An overwhelming voice that says don’t listen to the voices of the status quo, the do-nothing voices, that get us lost in process, voices that don’t let us move forward at the scale of the size of the challenges that we have. It may have been ambiguous over the last couple years as to where the community was on those issues and there is no doubt tonight.”
Adler said he read voters’ rejection of Proposition J as further support for moving forward with a land development code rewrite, formerly known as CodeNEXT. Prop J would have mandated a public vote on every comprehensive land code rewrite and created a waiting period between when Council approves a new code and when it goes into effect.
Many supporters of Prop J also backed Morrison.
“I think the community very clearly, if this goes down, is saying they don’t want a three-year delay before we start actually moving forward with significant changes,” Adler said. “They want us to act now.”
This story was produced as part of the Austin Monitor’s reporting partnership with KUT. Photos by Eddie Gasper for KUT
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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.