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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.