Sprint for Place 3
The race for City Council Place 3 is going down to the wire. The four candidates attempting to take Jackie Goodman’s seat are neck and neck in the homestretch. The race is almost certainly headed for a June runoff, and the leading candidate Saturday night will likely capture only about a third of the vote.
In many ways, the race is similar to how it looked back in January. Margot Clarke still appears to be leading with the other candidates competing to see who will be in the runoff. Clarke has the advantage in endorsements and organization and is the standard-bearer for the coalition of environmentalists and Central City neighborhoods that have been dominating Council elections for the last decade.
Gregg Knaupe has received funding from RECA
and the toll road lobby. He could be seen as filling the conventional role of the developers’ candidate. Only, things are different this year. The city has grown, and neighborhoods in the southwest and northwest are now seeking more influence.
Jennifer Kim has challenged the conventional wisdom by raising the most money and by collecting several key endorsements, including those from the Statesman and the firefighters. As a successful small business owner with strong credentials in public policy and Democratic politics, she is bringing fresh ideas and a new perspective to a City Council election.
Mandy Dealey has a solid base of support and has gained some surprising new supporters around the University.
One of the key issues in this election will be where the City is going. With Daryl Slusher and Jackie Goodman leaving the Council, the winner in Place 3 will join a Council that will, in all likelihood, consist of Mayor Wynn, Lee Leffingwell, Betty Dunkerley, Raul Alvarez, Brewster McCracken, and Danny Thomas. One of the key questions for Place 3 is which candidate will provide the best and most distinctive leadership and will work best with the other Council Members. Applying the patented Hite Head-Heart Test
, my head says to go with Clarke. She will likely be the top vote getter, and certainly, many of my friends are supporting her. My heart, though, is telling me to go with Kim. The City is changing, and in order to maintain Austin’s innovation and affordability, we need some new thinking.