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Mackenzie Kelly Beats Incumbent Jimmy Flannigan For Austin City Council District 6 Seat

The Texas and City of Austin flags sit in the City Council Chambers at Austin City Hall.
Gabriel C. Pérez
/
KUT

Mackenzie Kelly will be the new representative for Austin City Council District 6, beating incumbent Jimmy Flannigan by roughly 4 percentage points in a runoff election Tuesday.

In a statement, Kelly said she was honored to be the next representative for District 6 and that she would work immediately to begin "healing the divisions in our community." Her campaign declined to make her available to answer questions from a reporter Tuesday night.

Mackenzie Kelly
YouTube screenshot
Kelly ran on a campaign of restoring funding to the Austin Police Department budget and reinstating the ban against camping, panhandling and lying down in public.

Kelly ran on a campaign of restoring funding to the Austin Police Department budget and reinstating the ban against camping, panhandling and lying down in public. It’s unlikely she’ll find enough, if any, allies on the dais to help her make these changes, though. The 11-person council voted unanimously over the summer to cut millions from the police budget.

"From standing courageously behind our law enforcement community to demanding safer conditions for our homeless population to fighting for transparency at City Hall, the voice of Northwest Austin is [sic] has been heard," Kelly wrote. "Considering the stark differences between my campaign's priorities and the platform of the incumbent, their united voice is resoundingly clear this evening."

This isn’t the first time Kelly has faced Flannigan in a race for the District 6 seat. The two ran in a crowded general election in 2014; Flannigan went on to lose the runoff election to former Council Member Don Zimmerman, while Kelly came in last with just 9% of the vote.

In an election night watch party over Zoom, Flannigan told supporters it was a tough night, but that they had made the city a better place.

"The work that we've done addressing transportation, addressing racial inequality, addressing problems in the police department, addressing homelessness, are the right things that we have done. We have made this city more empathetic," he said. “Just because the path to equality isn’t straight doesn’t mean we’re not on the path.”

He said he hopes Kelly "represents this district with honor."

While races for the Austin City Council are nonpartisan, when Kelly takes office in January she will be the sole Republican on a Democrat-majority council.

Kelly said she looks forward to working with Austinites "from all backgrounds and political persuasions."

Got a tip? Email Audrey McGlinchy at audrey@kut.org. Follow her on Twitter @AKMcGlinchy.

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