AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin immigration and criminal defense attorney Jose “Chito” Vela III has announced he plans on running for city council. Vela said he plans to run for District 4, which is currently held by Greg Casar.
“We have to make this a friendly city for people that want to dream, for people that want to create, and for the working-class people to enjoy the beautiful city and we have a beautiful quality of life that we enjoy,” Vela said when he launched his campaign Tuesday for the District 4 seat.
Casar announced he was launching an exploratory committee to figure out if he’ll run for the open seat in the newly-drawn in Texas Congressional District 35, which encompasses most of Travis County east of Interstate 35 and stretches down to San Antonio.
“As an immigration attorney, I work with people every day who are struggling to stay in Austin,” Vela said on Twitter. “We must be a welcoming city for working-class people, not a playground for the wealthy.”
Though Casar hasn’t announced he will run for Congress, Vela said he will run as a candidate if his seat becomes open.
Vela ran for Texas State Representative in 2018, but lost in the Democratic primary runoff to Sheryl Cole by less than 200 votes.
Vela is originally from Laredo but relocated to Austin in 1992. Vela currently serves on the advisory board for the Travis County Public Defender’s Office and co-owns the Walker Gates Vela law firm.