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Leffingwell endorses Flannigan opponent Kelly

Tuesday, July 7, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Former Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell has endorsed Mackenzie Kelly, who is challenging District 6 Council Member Jimmy Flannigan in his bid for reelection in November. Leffingwell told the Austin Monitor he agreed to back Kelly because she supports full funding for the Austin Police Department. “I was asked to endorse her,” Leffingwell said, by “some police friends of mine, retired policemen. I’ve always been a supporter of police and full funding of the police. I’ve got to support the candidate who supports the APD.” Leffingwell, who now lives in Hays County, said he is concerned about the possibility of a “massive cut” to the police department and thinks City Council is on a “dangerous path.” Kelly said, “I believe without the necessary funding we’re not going to be able to change (APD) for the better …. Our city won’t be as safe.” She pointed out that she was a member of the 100th class of the Citizen Police Academy, which graduated last December. On her Twitter account, Kelly lists herself as president of Take Back Austin, a nonprofit that has provided volunteers in the effort to recall Mayor Steve Adler and several other Council members. When the Monitor asked Leffingwell about the recall effort, Leffingwell said he opposes recalls and was unaware of Kelly’s involvement in that activity. Former Council Member Don Zimmerman, a Republican who is running for the Senate District 14 seat, has also endorsed Kelly. Zimmerman, Flannigan and Kelly all ran for the District 6 Council seat in 2014. At that time, Kelly drew national attention for her “Gamergate” platform. Zimmerman won the contest and Flannigan won the rematch in 2016. Amy Everhart, Flannigan’s campaign manager, worked for Leffingwell when he was mayor from 2009-2014.

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