Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Troxclair and Scruggs gear up for District 8 runoff

November 17, 2014  

by Bobbie Jean Sawyer

Following a long campaign in Austin’s inaugural 10-1 city council election, District 8 candidates Ellen Troxclair and Ed Scruggs secured spots in the December 15 runoff election with just over and just under 26% of the ballots cast, respectively, besting opponents Becky Bray, Darrell Pierce and Eliza May.

Ellen Troxclair, a realtor who gained her public policy experience by working at the state Capitol, said she was inspired to run after witnessing the rising cost of living in Austin, adding that she wants to be the voice of fiscal responsibility on city council.

“I’m running in part because I want to be able to raise a family in Austin and I think that so many other people—especially in Southwest Austin—are struggling with the same cost of living increases that my family is,” Troxclair said. “The cost of living increases are unsustainable.”

Troxclair said in the weeks leading up to the runoff election she wants to continue reaching out to Southwest Austin residents.

“Connecting personally with voters has been my favorite part of this experience so far because I’ve gotten to meet so many amazing people and hear so many amazing stories about how the decisions from city council are affecting Southwest Austinites as well as their families and their businesses,” Troxclair said. “I can’t overstate how truly humbled and grateful I am to my supporters and the volunteers and contributors who have supported me along the way.”

Ed Scruggs, a 23-year Austin resident who has served on the Circle C Homeowners Association, said he attributes the support he received from voters to his willingness to be open and listen to different points of view.

“I started with a very clear message and I made a resolution to myself that I would try to give very open and honest answers to questions in forums and when people asked me,” Scruggs said. “I think that paid off.”

Scruggs said affordability and property taxes are among the most important issues to District 8 voters.

“Affordability is an issue that is affecting everyone throughout the city and it manifests itself most prominently in District 8 through the property tax issue,” Scruggs said. “We have a high percentage of homeowners and a high percentage of families in homes owned by those families. Property tax increases have really rattled people and they’re concerned about the trajectory we’re on and their ability to keep up.”

Scruggs said his campaign was a community collaboration that couldn’t have succeeded without people volunteering on their own time and taking the time to study candidates.

“I can’t thank them enough. It was a true grassroots effort, what we did,” Scruggs said. “We just built our presence in the neighborhoods slowly and steadily throughout the months.”

District 8 candidate Darrell Pierce reflected on the election results in a letter of thanks to his supporters.

“While the final poll results do not fully reflect our hard work, they do show the city council race in District 8 was far more partisan-focused than we could have predicted. I remain committed to being a balanced community voice, using common sense for solving problems,” Pierce said.

Eliza May, a District 8 candidate who also served as a member of Austinites for Geographic Representation, which helped get the 10-1 process of the ground, agreed with Pierce and said the election results reflect citizens voting along party lines.

“I think that the election was very partisan. I think people voted along those lines for the most part when you look at the results,” May said.

May said no matter which candidate wins the District 8 runoff, she wants to work with the representative to serve and better the community.

“I will remain engaged at whatever level the community supports and the community needs,” May said. “I want to be an effective voice for our neighborhood and our district.”

Early voting for the 10-1 runoff election begins Dec. 1

Behind the voting numbers

by Penny Levers

Top vote-getter for the District 8 council seat Ellen Troxclair secured a runoff bid with 5, 676 votes while her runoff opponent Ed Scruggs came in only slightly behind with 5,496 votes in the November 4 general election.

If you disregard Precinct 368, which has no registered voters, there are 23 voting precincts in Austin City Council District 8. The number of registered voters in these precincts range from 25 (364) to 5, 531 (367). Of all 17 precincts with more than 600 voters, voter participation ranged from a high of 57.68% to a low of 33.3%.

The percentage of all District 8 registered voters who cast a ballot in the November election was 48%, but the percentage of registered voters who cast a vote for their city council representative was less than 40%, which means that neither runoff candidate will have gotten much more than 10% of District 8 registered voters to come out for them during the general election.




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