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Clearing the Way for Tovo, Riley Withdraws from District 9 Council Runoff

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT
Council member Chris Riley (left) and Council member Kathie Tovo at an October candidate forum.

Current Austin City Council Member Chris Riley is withdrawing from a runoff election with another current Council Member, Kathie Tovo.

In Tuesday's election for the District 9 seat, Tovo won 49.05 percent of the vote -- just shy of the 50 percent needed to avoid a runoff. Riley earned 40.41 percent and the third candidate, Erin McGann, won 10.53 percent.

In a statement announcing his withdrawal, Riley congratulated Tovo on a hard-fought campaign.

"We knew this would be a tough race against a worthy opponent," said Riley. "Both Kathie and I have sought to do our best as council members and earn the trust placed in us by the voters who elected us. I’m sure that Kathie will continue to work hard on behalf of the people of District 9 and Austin."

Riley went on to say he did see a path to victory in the runoff, "but I also feel that, as we begin this new era with a new council, a contest that creates negativity and division is not how we should set the tone for Austin going forward. I would rather work together with Kathie and with the new council members, as an advocate, to solve the challenges we face."

There will still be eight other council runoffs on the ballot for the December 16th election. Seven districts (Districts 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 and 10), along with the mayor's seat, are still up for grabs in an election that will likely see far lower turnout than the November 4th election. 

Matt Largey is the Projects Editor at KUT. That means doing a little bit of everything: editing reporters, producing podcasts, reporting, training, producing live events and always being on the lookout for things that make his ears perk up. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @mattlargey.
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