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Ellis picks up important endorsements

Wednesday, November 14, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Paige Ellis, the top vote-getter in the Nov. 6 race for City Council District 8, announced Tuesday that her two Democratic opponents in the race, Rich DePalma and Bobby Levinski, had endorsed her. Ellis will face Republican Frank Ward in the runoff on Dec. 11.

In a news release, Ellis said, “During the course of the campaign I got to know both Rich DePalma and Bobby Levinski quite well, and I am honored to have their support heading into the December 11th runoff election.

She added, “We agree that District 8 needs a voice that stands up for Southwest Austin, and not another roadblock to progress.”

Ellis won 30.5 percent of the District 8 vote in the first round of voting, compared with Ward’s 24.7 percent, with Levinski and DePalma each getting less than 24 percent.

In addition to the individual endorsements, Ellis has won endorsements from groups that previously supported DePalma and Levinski: LiUNA Local 1095-Laborers’ Union, Stonewall Democrats of Austin and the Circle C Area Democrats.

Ward was the only Council candidate endorsed by the Travis County Republican Party, although the party endorsed one of the many candidates running unsuccessfully against Mayor Steve Adler. In addition, Ward was endorsed by the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin and the Building Owners and Managers Association of Austin.

District 8 Council Member Ellen Troxclair, who is stepping down from the seat; Chip Roy, who was just elected to represent District 21 in the U.S. House of Representatives; retiring state Rep. Jason Isaac; and former state Senator Florence Shapiro have also endorsed Ward.

Jack Kirfman, a spokesman for the city employees union AFSCME, told the Austin Monitor that his organization would be interviewing Ellis Thursday night to determine whether they would recommend that the Central Labor Council endorse her next week. He said he had invited Ward for an interview, but he was not sure whether Ward would show up.

In addition to the interviews for District 8 candidates, Kirfman said his organization would be interviewing Natasha Harper-Madison and Mariana Salazar, also in a runoff Dec. 11 for the District 1 seat. Council Member Ora Houston is retiring at the end of the year. She endorsed Vincent Harding for that job, but he did not make it into the runoff.

Regardless of endorsements, both sides will be working hard to turn out every vote. In 2014, Troxclair defeated her runoff opponent, Ed Scruggs, by just 57 votes.

Photo by John Flynn. 

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