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Low Turnout, High Drama

Photo by Mose Buchele for KUT News
Austin Council Member Chris Riley appears to be cruising to a full three-year term.

The latest local election results tonight show turnout at 7.27%, but it was enough to send two incumbents back to the Austin City Council.  The third incumbent appears headed to a runoff.

Chris Riley pulled 65% of the vote, with 100% of precincts counted, easily outdistancing three challengers for Place One.  Laura Morrison hit 70% in the first printout tonight and only expanded her lead in the three-way race for Place Four.  She finished with just shy of 73% of the vote.

Challenger Kathie Tovo jumped out to an early 10-point margin and continued to keep incumbent Randi Shade at arm's length throughout the evening.  Tovo has 47% of the vote.  Shade sits at 33%.  Former council member Max Nofziger is drawing 14% of the vote, and Kris Bailey has almost 7%.

Because no one drew the needed simple majority of 50% plus one vote, it appears Tovo and Shade will face each other in a runoff election. That will be held Saturday, June 18.

Ian Crawford joined KUT as News Editor in 2008, after spending over four years as a reporter/anchor at KLBJ Radio in Austin. He began his broadcasting career while still in high school in Southern Oregon. During high school and college at the University of Oregon, he worked at times as a reporter, news anchor, sports play-by-play reporter, music host and commercial producer before moving to Texas in 2003.