Student, teacher and engineer challenge Kathie Tovo in District 9

From left, Austin Mayor Steve Adler, Laura Morrison, Danielle Skidmore and a staffer for Kathie Tovo, who could not attend

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Three candidates have challenged Mayor Pro Tem, Kathie Tovo, in the race for Austin City Council District 9.  

District 9 covers an area stretching from south Austin, through downtown and West Campus, and stretches all the way to just north of 51st Street. 

Incumbent Tovo has been on the Austin City Council since 2011. She touts herself as “a progressive voice at City Hall.” 

Tovo currently serves as mayor pro tem and she has served on the Health and Human Services Committee as well as the chair of the Audit and Finance Subcommittee. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. with honors from the University of North Carolina. 

Challenger Danielle Skidmore has lived in Austin for more than 20 years and worked as a transportation engineer. She describes herself as a special-needs parent and cites economic and physical accessibility as a top platform issue.

Skidmore notes her work last year with a coalition of people to defeat the “Bathroom Bill.” If Skidmore wins the District 9 election, she would be Austin’s first transgender council member.

Isiah Jones is currently attending UT Austin and is studying government. He supports the fight for affordable housing in Austin as well as working to improve property taxes. His platform includes an idea to provide free public transportation in Austin. Jones also is calling for the city to update its zoning code.

Linda O’Neal is a high school teacher. She won the 2011 Humanities Texas award for outstanding teaching. O’Neal’s platform focuses on affordability, including a proposal to lower the property tax cap. O’Neal opposes the city giving tax breaks to corporations and cites her opposition to the City Council’s agreement with Precourt Sports to bring a MLS soccer team to Austin. 

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