Andy Brown becomes new Travis County Judge

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Travis County voters decided between two local attorneys for a new leader in the county, after the previous leader left earlier this year.

Andy Brown won, receiving 391,952 (69.6%) votes to Michael Lovins’ 171,294 (30.4%)

Democrat Brown is an Austin attorney and community activist who previously chaired the Travis County Democratic Party. He campaigned on criminal justice reform, saying he intends to not build any new jails and divert those funds into mental health and restorative justice services. He also promised to combat sexual violence by improving the District Attorney’s handling of these cases and to reform practices in the county sheriff’s office by demilitarizing police and acquiring body cameras.

Republican Lovins is a local attorney. In his campaign, he promised to support law enforcement and expand affordable access to health care for those served by county health programs.

The race for county judge started when former county judge Sarah Eckhardt left the seat open to run her successful campaign for the Texas Senate. Judge Sam Biscoe has been serving in her place since. Unlike the normal primary process, the candidates for this race were elected by each party’s precinct chairs, rather than voters at large.

Contrary to the implication, the county judge is not a judicial role. The judge serves on the Commissioner’s Court as the chief executive of the county, responsible for directing the budget and other municipal functions.

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