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Austin Election Update: Willie and Lance Endorse, Place 2 Challenge, and a Hallucinatory Candidacy

Willie Nelson (L) and Lance Armstorng (R) have announced their endorsement of Lee Leffingwell.
Nelson photo courtesy Larry Philpot,; Leffingwell photo courtesy his campaign; Armstrong photo courtesy
Willie Nelson (L) and Lance Armstorng (R) have announced their endorsement of Lee Leffingwell.

Mayor Lee Leffingwell is taking nothing for granted in his re-election bid.

Despite a lack of formidable opposition, Austin’s incumbent mayor announced two high profile, if unorthodox, endorsements this weekend. His campaign shares the details:

AUSTIN, TX – Mayor Lee Leffingwell is excited to announce today that he has been endorsed by two of Austin’s favorite adopted sons – country music legend Willie Nelson and seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong.  “I love Austin and I think Mayor Leffingwell has done a real good job of helping keep it a special place,” said Nelson.  “I’m proud to give him my endorsement.”  “Mayor Leffingwell has been a strong leader and I think he deserves another term,” said Armstrong.  “I hope my fellow Austinites will join me in supporting him for re-election.”

Austin’s municipal election is set for May 12.

Race Shaping Up in Place 2?

A vocal critic of City Hall has settled on a place in which to run.

Austin entrepreneur Laura Pressley recently announced she will run in Place 2 this spring against incumbent council member Mike Martinez. Pressley operates a bottled rainwater company, Pure Rain, and is a staunch opponent of the city’s fluoridation policies.

You can read more about her positions on her campaign website.                              

Did Willie Endorse Too Soon?

Leffingwell may have a challenger after all.

While attention has centered on the possible challenge former council member Brigid Shea might mount for the mayor’s office, The Daily Texan reports on another contender for the City Council’s top spot:

Inspired by his experiences with courts and the law, 25 year-old Nicholas Lucier said he will run for mayor of Austin this May. Lucier however, has almost always been on the wrong side of the law in court, he said. After about seven arrests involving drug and alcohol possession since he was 18, Lucier now has too many probation fines and cannot afford to take the last two classes required to graduate from UT with a government degree. He said he is running for mayor to prevent past drug problems from ruining a person's life, including his own. “We are ruining lives by putting people in jail that can't afford to pay for probation,” Lucier said. “They lose their homes trying to pay the fines, all because they put a substance in their body. My dad doesn't even tell me what I can and can't put in my body anymore, so the government shouldn't be able to either.” Lucier started a satirical political party on Facebook called the Mushroom Tea Party, which supports legalization of all drugs. Lucier said because the party's numbers have been increasing steadily, he believes he has a chance of winning a run for office.

Wells has been a part of KUT News since 2012, when he was hired as the station's first online reporter. He's currently the social media host and producer for Texas Standard, KUT's flagship news program. In between those gigs, he served as online editor for KUT, covering news in Austin, Central Texas and beyond.
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