‘Stop Candlewood’ leader and Austin businesswoman announces run for Travis County judge

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Rupal Chaudhari (Courtesy of Chaudhari campaign)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Rupal Chaudhari, the founder of local advocacy group Stop Candlewood, announced her candidacy for Travis County judge at the Travis County Republican Party executive meeting Tuesday evening. 

Andy Brown currently serves as Travis County judge and has not yet announced his plans to rerun.

Chaudhari was not interested in politics until January 2021, when she and her husband learned the City of Austin planned to purchase an empty Candlewood Suites hotel in the same parking lot as their family’s hotels to use as a bridge shelter for people experiencing homelessness. 

The shelter would house 50 residents and be located near schools and businesses but far away from any necessary social services, her campaign says.

A press release states in an effort to increase fairness and transparency in local government, Chaudhari began Stop Candlewood, which the group says is meant to fight for better options for Austin’s unhoused population. 

Chaudhari has degrees from Company Secretaries of India and a Master’s degree from St. Mary’s law school. She is a licensed immigration attorney with the state of New York and currently manages the finances for the family’s business holdings, which includes hotels and an electronics component distribution business. 

The Republican primary will take place in March 2022, and general elections will take place in November 2022.

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