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José Velásquez wins race for District 3 seat on Austin City Council

José Velásquez is set to represent part of East Austin on the City Council after garnering 53% of votes in the runoff race for District 3.
Michael Minasi
José Velásquez is set to represent parts of East and South Austin on the City Council after garnering 53% of votes in the runoff race for District 3.

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José Velásquez is set to represent District 3 on the Austin City Council after garnering about 53% of the vote in Tuesday’s runoff election, according to unofficial election night results.

Velásquez beat Daniela Silva for the spot representing parts of East and South Austin. He is set to replace outgoing Council Member Sabino “Pio” Renteria, who has served in the role since 2015.

Velásquez and Silva faced off in a runoff this month because they earned the most votes out of the six candidates who ran for the D3 spot in the November election — but neither candidate got more than the required 50% of votes.

Velásquez, who grew up in East Austin, works as a marketing consultant and has been a board member of organizations such as Latinitas and the Greater Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Silva is a local activist and volunteer.

During the campaign season, both Velásquez and Silva focused on Austin's housing crisis, and both supported the city's recent affordable housing bond.

"I am running because of the lack of urgency around affordability,” Velásquez said during a candidate forum with KUT and the Austin Monitor in October. “I was raised in East Austin with my three siblings by a single mother making $25,000 a year in the '80s and '90s. Adjusted for inflation, that would be about $48,000 a year, and she wouldn't be able to afford anything in East Austin."

Velásquez has also said he supports Project Connect, increasing broadband access and a universal Pre-K program.

Along with a new mayor and two new council members, Velásquez is scheduled to be sworn in on Jan. 6.

Not sure if you live in District 3? To see what City Council district you're in, go here. Click “I Want To …" and "Find My Council District” and type in your address.

Marisa Charpentier is KUT's assistant digital editor. Got a tip? Email her at Follow her on Twitter @marisacharp.
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