The Austin Chronicle has endorsed Kathie Tovo in the runoff for City Council, Austin, Texas. The Chronicle says that “Shade has drifted sideways into apparently unwinnable ethics complaints and “no growth” scare tactics” while Kathie Tovo has remained consistent in her planned approach to Austin’s future.
The Chron says of Tovo “All of us applaud Tovo’s dedicated public service on projects both official (Planning Commission; Austin ISD task forces) and unofficial, and anticipate that if elected, she will bring much beneficial experience to council. Her ongoing efforts to keep open central city schools would be important council assets, as would her interest in inner-city development via affordable, family-friendly neighborhood initiatives.” And the Chron editorial staff goes on to say of Tovo “that city policy defaults too readily to developer interests and that Tovo’s presence will be a bulwark against such encroachment.”
The Austin American Statesman noted in an article about the runoff that “One political consultant said Sunday that Shade should seriously consider bowing out. “If you’re an incumbent and get less than 50 percent (in a general election), it’s a very bad sign,” said Elliott McFadden , who has worked on local races but none this year. “You’re basically asking voters to re-hire you, and a sizable majority has already said ‘no’ …” before the runoff gets under way, he said.
The Statesman article went on to say “It looked a few months ago like Shade would sail to re-election. She had been raising money since the fall and had no major opponents. Then she made public hundreds of her emails in response to open records requests; a few showed her disparaging activists and groups that frequent City Hall. Tovo said the emails added to concerns she already had about decision-making at City Hall, spurring her to join the race in March. She raised money at warp speed, loaned her campaign another $53,000 and scooped up endorsements from neighborhood and environmental groups whose members reliably show up to vote in city races. Moderate and progressive voters who backed Shade in 2008 felt betrayed by her pro-development votes and were ready to support someone else, said Peck Young, who has worked on past council campaigns and now heads the Center for Public Policy and Political Studies at Austin Community College.”