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Follow the money

Friday, July 13, 2018 by Elizabeth Pagano

With election season around the corner, an analysis of Austin’s 2016 City Council elections found that more than half of the campaign dollars raised in the races for five Council seats came from the city’s three most-affluent Council districts. The Fault Lines report from Texans for Public Justice found that of the more than $787,000 raised from Austin residents by the 12 candidates running in districts 2, 4, 6, 7 and 10 more than $535,000 came from donors living in districts 8, 9 and 10. Those are the city’s three most-affluent Council districts, with District 10 accounting for 44 percent of all the money donated by Austin residents to candidates in the five elections. By comparison, districts 1, 2, 3 and 4 combined generated only 8 percent of the money donated by Austin residents. Other findings include that nearly one-third of 2016’s 3,582 donor households in 2016 came from District 10, and that the average donation in District 10 was $294, or more than double those from District 2’s $126 average. November will see Mayor Steve Adler running for re-election against two candidates, with Districts 1, 3, 5, 8 and 9 up for grabs. So far incumbents Ora Houston (District 1) and Ellen Troxclair (District 8) have announced they will not seek re-election while Pio Renteria (District 3), Ann Kitchen (District 5) and Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo (District 9) are seeking to keep their seats.

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