The race for District 8 in Southwest Austin is wide open. In July, incumbent Council Member Ellen Troxclair, who has represented the district since 2015, announced that she would not seek re-election. During her tenure, Troxclair earned a reputation as the lone conservative on the Austin City Council.
Watch a forum with the District 8 candidates:
Frank Ward, who currently serves on the city’s Parks and Recreation Board, has been endorsed by Troxclair. According to his campaign website, he has previous experience working at the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the White House, the U.S. Senate and the Texas Capitol.
Though City Council races are nonpartisan, Paige Ellis identifies as a Democrat running for the District 8 seat. She currently works as a marketing and public involvement specialist for the Austin-based environmental consulting firm, aci Group. Ellis has previously volunteered for the Texas Book Festival and Keep Austin Beautiful. She has also served as a state convention delegate for the Texas Democratic Party.
Bobby Levinski is an attorney for the local nonprofit Save Our Springs Alliance. He has also been involved with Community Not Commodity, a coalition that led the charge to put CodeNEXT to a public vote. Levinski has previously worked as a policy advisor for Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo, and former Austin City Council Members Laura Morrison and Jennifer Kim.
Rich DePalma is a small-business owner and community advocate based in Southwest Austin. He serves on the city’s Downtown Commission and its Parks and Recreation Board. DePalma has served on several other local boards, including subcommittees for the Austin Independent School District.
KUT has partnered with the Austin Monitor, Glasshouse Policy and A Functional Democracy to host a series of candidate forums this month. You can come out to the District 8 forum at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on La Crosse Avenue. RSVP here.
Got questions for the candidates? Submit them below, and we may ask them at the forum.