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Council opponents give endorsements

Friday, November 13, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Republican Jay Wiley, who unsuccessfully ran for the City Council District 6 seat in 2014, has endorsed his former opponent, Jimmy Flannigan, in the December runoff. That might have been a surprise to Mackenzie Kelly, Flannigan’s runoff opponent, especially since Kelly seems to be operating out of the Republican playbook. Wiley posted on Facebook Thursday, “I am a conservative Republican and am supporting Jimmy Flannigan for reelection … I know Jimmy. He is a committed, selfless public servant who cares deeply about the future of Austin. As an Austin City Council candidate myself, I got to know Jimmy and his dedication to our neighbors. We have serious political differences, but we share common cause in our respect for thoughtful, meaningful public policy that improves the lives of Austin citizens.” On the other hand, Wiley said Kelly is “extremely unqualified to serve in a position of public trust. I know her to be profoundly unserious in her public and private affairs and thoroughly void of the kind of judgment we need to confront various issues in Austin. We have had enough clown shows in politics recently, we cannot afford another in our backyard.” Over in District 10, there was a less dramatic endorsement from a former opponent. Pooja Sethi and Alison Alter released a joint statement praising each other. Sethi said, “We simply cannot afford to be divided as we move forward as a city to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic, reimagining public safety, and an economic recovery for our great city. Alison Alter has the formal and on-the-ground training essential to represent our district. Jennifer Virden will not be the unifying voice our Council or city need at this crucial moment. Rather than being represented by someone who would be an opposition vote, I support Alison Alter because I believe she will continue to stand up for District 10 residents.” Alter said, “Pooja is a passionate advocate who has worked at City Hall as an Asian American Quality of Life Commissioner and is committed to giving voice and agency to the most vulnerable communities. As I continue to serve District 10, I’m committed to working with Pooja to fight for all people.”

This whisper has been corrected to reflect the fact that Wiley did not run for Council in 2016.

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