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2020 Runoff Election Results: Kelly And Alter Win Austin City Council Races

People vote in Travis County during the 2020 general election.
Julia Reihs
Voters cast their ballots at Arbor Walk Shopping Center on Nov. 3.

A challenger and an incumbent secured wins in December runoff races to represent Districts 6 and 10 on the Austin City Council.

Mackenzie Kelly upset incumbent Jimmy Flannigan to represent District 6, while Alison Alter successfully defended a challenge from Jennifer Virden to retain her District 10 seat.

Challengers in both West Austin districts focused squarely on public-safety issues – specifically the Austin City Council's decisions to reduce the Austin Police Department's budget and rollback regulations that largely banned camping in public.

Kelly defeated Flannigan, who was first elected in 2016, by just over 750 votes; Alter bested Virden 587 votes.

Kelly campaigned against the Austin City Council’s vote this summer to cut millions from the police budget and a vote last summer to rescind the ban against camping and panhandling in public.

“From standing courageously behind our law enforcement community to demanding safer conditions for our homeless population to fighting for transparency at City Hall, the voice of Northwest Austin has been heard,” Kelly’s campaign wrote in a statement via text message.

Flannigan said he hopes Kelly "represents [the] district with honor."

Shortly after the Travis County Clerk's final Election Day results came in, Alter told KUT she believes runoff voters chose to focus on issues affecting District 10.

"I believe that District 10 rejected a politics of fear and recognized that the real public safety challenges come from COVID and wildfire," she said.

Alter's record at City Hall was a target of her challengers ahead of the November election. She voted to cut and reinvest APD's budget in August. Though, she did vote against the city's rollback of its camping ban in 2019.

She also led the charge on passing the city's Wildland-Urban Interface code earlier this year.

Andrew Weber is a general assignment reporter for KUT, focusing on criminal justice, policing, courts and homelessness in Austin and Travis County. Got a tip? You can email him at Follow him on Twitter @England_Weber.
Audrey McGlinchy is KUT's housing reporter. She focuses on affordable housing solutions, renters’ rights and the battles over zoning. Got a tip? Email her at Follow her on Twitter @AKMcGlinchy.
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