District 1 Austin City Council race heads to runoff

Austin
Austin_City_Council_District_1_candidate_1_20180907033649

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Along with District 8, voters in Austin City Council District 1 will not find out who will represent them Tuesday night. 

None of the candidates reached the needed 50 percent of the vote. As of 11:50 p.m. Tuesday, Mariana Salazar (26 percent), Natasha Harper-Madison (25 percent) and Vincent Harding (24 percent) are tied for the lead.

District 1 is currently held by Ora Houston, who announced in June she will not be seeking a second term for her east Austin council seat. 

Houston said she made the decision after “months of personal discernment and conversations with confidants.”

“It has been a joy, privilege and a huge responsibility to represent the ‘blended family’ of District #1,” Houston said.

In September Houston formally endorsed Harding, the chair of the Travis County Democratic party, to fill her vacant seat at city council. 

“What makes Vincent my choice in this crowded field? He listens, he has a wide range of experiences, and he is courageous,” said Houston. “In some ways, Vincent is much more experienced than I was 4 years ago.”

Conway made headlines in 1998 when he pled guilty to and was convicted of voluntary manslaughter. His eligibility to run has been a subject of debate since he announced his candidacy. 

According to the Secretary of State’s Office, a convicted felon can only run if he or she has been pardoned or “released from resulting disabilities…” — a phrase that has prompted confusion.

“Is it a physical disability? Is it a mental disability? In this case, it seems to be a social disability,” Conway said. “My parole certificate that is issued by the state and my voter registration card should be sufficient.”

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