AUSTIN (KXAN) — Celia Israel, former Texas state representative and mayoral candidate who ran against Mayor Kirk Watson in Travis County, announced Thursday she filed paperwork to run for Travis County Tax Assessor Collector, according to a statement via Action Network.

This announcement comes after Bruce Elfant, current Travis County Tax Assessor, announced he would not seek re-election, Israel said in the statement.

“This office has a direct impact on every member of our community. The Tax Assessor Collector works on issues that affect affordability, our transit infrastructure, and voter registration, some of the most important issues facing our community,” Israel said in her statement.

Celia Israel’s mayoral run in Travis County

Israel lost in a mayoral runoff election in December 2022 to Mayor Kirk Watson. KXAN projected Watson led with 50.39% of the votes and Israel 49.61%. That’s a lead of 886 votes, or 0.78%, with 100% of the votes counted.

“From the pandemic to the legislative attacks on women, communities of color, and trans kids, I know I’m not the only one who has reflected on how we can best use our talents to meet the demands of these challenging times,” Israel said in a statement in September 2021. “And in an increasingly urbanized Texas, local government may seem messy and unglamorous, but it’s where neighbors are actively coming together to solve problems.”

Israel was the former representative for Texas House District 50, which stretches from north Austin to Pflugerville and further east close to Elgin. She won that seat in 2014. In her announcement in September 2021, Israel also pointed out she previously served the City of Austin as a member of the Environmental Board, the Police Monitor Board, a Bond Advisory Committee and the Robert Mueller Redevelopment Advisory Committee.

What does the tax assessor collector do?

The tax assessor collector has a direct impact on every member of our community. The tax assessor collector works on issues that affect affordability, Travis County transit infrastructure and voter registration, Israel said in her statement, some of which she said are the most important issues facing the community.

“Throughout my years of service in the Texas Legislature I’ve worked closely with our county officials and staff. I know the value local government brings to everyday Texans and the importance of making our offices and resources easier to access and use,” Israel said in the statement.

Furthermore, Israel said Elfant served the community for decades as both a Travis County Constable and currently as the tax assessor collector.

She referred to him as “a beloved member of our local Democratic Party.”

“Next time you see Bruce be sure to thank him for his service,” Israel said in the statement.