AUSTIN (KXAN) — Celia Israel and Kirk Watson are heading to a runoff election for Austin mayor. With all the votes in, Israel had 39.99% (121,862 votes) of the vote, while Watson had 34.95% (106,508 votes).

Israel and Watson will face each other in a runoff on Dec. 13.

Six candidates were running to replace Mayor Steve Adler, who is term-limited. Jennifer Virden received 56,189 votes (18.44%), Phil Campero Brual got 7,295 votes (2.39%), Anthony Bradshaw had 7,102 (2.33%) and Gary S. Spellman received 5,781 (1.90%).

Rep. Celia Israel

Celia Israel at a watch party in Austin on election night Nov. 8, 2022 (KXAN Photo/Ed Zavala)
Celia Israel at a watch party in Austin on election night Nov. 8, 2022 (KXAN Photo/Ed Zavala)

Israel said she’s running to ensure Austin doesn’t become an “elitist,” unwelcoming city that loses its unique nature and its natives who make it that way. Housing and affordability have been major parts of her campaign.

“No one else in the race has my lived experience,” Israel said. “I grew up in a border town, member of the Latino community, the LGBT community. Just a working class chick who happens to have been serving the state in a unique capacity in the legislature.”

Israel told KXAN Tuesday she’s excited to carry this momentum into the runoff election.

“No one will ever out-hustle us. They might outspend us, but they’re not going to outwork us. We’re very proud tonight and very excited for what the future holds,” Israel said.

Sen. Kirk Watson

Watson — who has already served as mayor of Austin previously — wants the job back.

“We’re at a real turning point in this city from the standpoint of we’re no longer becoming a big city, we are a big city,” Watson said. “We need to be making some hard decisions, and we need someone with proven experience of getting things done with a real positive vision of where we want to go.”