AUSTIN (KXAN) — With all precincts reporting, Sheryl Cole beat Jose “Chito” Vela for the Democratic nomination for Texas House District 46 by less than 200 votes. Cole ended up winning 4,967 votes to Chito’s 4,794.
The seat is currently held by Democrat Dawnna Dukes, who was first elected in 1994. Dukes wanted to stay in her seat but finished third in the primary election in March. Cole will face Republican Gabriel Nila in November.
Texas House District 46 Democrat candidates:
Jose “Chito” Vela
Vela is an immigration attorney, workers’ rights advocate and a former city of Austin planning commissioner. He served as general counsel for a Democratic member of the Texas House of Representatives and was an Assistant Attorney General in the Open Records Division of the Texas Attorney General’s Office. His mission revolves around criminal justice reform, immigrant rights, school finance reform, health insurance, reproductive justice, protecting the environment and improving transportation.
Cole is an accountant and attorney who became Austin’s Mayor Pro Tem and the first African American woman elected to city council. In city council, she placed affordable housing on the ballot to address affordability issues and lessen the economic and racial divides. Cole got her start in public life by stepping up in her local PTA and serving as one of the Tri-Chairs to the AISD Bond Committee in 2004. She advocates for public school funding, affordable and accessible healthcare, LGBT rights, supporting immigrants, helping incarcerated people reintegrate back to society and victims of police violence.