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City Council runoff endorsements

Monday, November 26, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Now that the Thanksgiving holiday is over, politics again becomes a dominant theme in Austin, with early voting beginning this Thursday for runoff elections in Districts 1, 3 and 8. District 8 candidates Frank Ward and Paige Ellis are attracting the most attention. Ward was previously endorsed by the Travis County Republican Party and Ellis has recently won the endorsement of the Travis County Democratic Party. Ward also has the support of the Austin Police Association, the Austin Firefighters Association and the Austin Board of Realtors. The Central Labor Council, which includes the city employees union AFSCME, voted unanimously to endorse Ellis, according to AFSCME spokesman Jack Kirfman. In District 1, the unions could not reach a consensus and each union is now free to support either runoff candidate, Kirfman said. He noted that AFSCME recommended supporting District 1 candidate Mariana Salazar and that Austinites for Equity, AFSCME’s political action committee, would be working for her as well as Ellis and Council Member Pio Renteria. Renteria is once again facing his sister, Susana Almanza, in the runoff. The Austin-Travis County EMS Employees Association had previously endorsed Renteria and will be supporting him again in the runoff, according to union president Tony Marquardt. Marquardt said his union was also supporting Natasha Harper-Madison in District 1, but had not reached a decision about District 8. Bob Nicks, president of the firefighters union, confirmed that firefighters and police unions have both decided to endorse Harper-Madison.

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