Steve Adler won re-election as Austin mayor in a landslide victory Tuesday and will serve another four years in office as voters came out in record numbers in Travis County.
Adler earned 59 percent of the vote and overpowered his biggest challenger, former Austin City Council Member Laura Morrison, and five other candidates.
Voters first elected Adler in 2014 to serve as mayor under Austin’s new 10-1 council district system, where 10 geographic districts replaced six at-large positions. A civil rights and eminent domain attorney, Adler has established himself as both an earnest compromiser but also someone who expects things to happen quickly at the city.
“This community has said very clearly that they want us to look forward,” Adler said at his victory party at The Belmont in downtown Austin as his wife, Diane Land, and three daughters stood beside him.
“An overwhelming voice that says, 'Don’t listen to the voices of the status quo, the do-nothing voices that get us lost in process, voices that don’t let us move forward at the scale of the size of the challenges that we have,'" he said. "It may have been ambiguous over the last couple years as to where the community was on those issues, and there is no doubt tonight.”
Adler said he read the rejection of Proposition J as further direction to move forward with a land-development code rewrite, like CodeNEXT. Prop J would have mandated a public vote on every comprehensive land code rewrite and created a waiting period between when council approved a new code and when it went into effect.
Many of the supporters of Prop J also backed Morrison.
“I think the community very clearly, if this goes down, is saying they don’t want a three-year delay before we start actually moving forward with significant changes,” Adler said. “They want us to act now.”