Sharing the details about a critical upcoming vote happening Monday 8/3. Details below are from the Bouldin area Travis County Precinct Chair (Pct 437). We in Zilker are located in Precinct 332
and our Chair is Jeff Jack. If you have thought on which candidate would be best for these role, he can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s what’s going on. I’m the Democratic precinct chair for Travis County Precinct 437 (Bouldin Area). What the heck does that mean? Usually, my primary responsibility is making sure my Democratic neighbors turn out to vote. This year I have a very heavy added responsibility due to a quirk of our state party rules. There are two Travis County races that would usually be put to ALL primary voters but are going to be decided SOLELY by precinct chairs in the next few weeks. (More about why at the bottom of this post.)
PRECINCT CHAIRS WILL BE VOTING ON OUR NEXT TRAVIS COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHAIR AND COUNTY JUDGE
I believe in democracy with a small “d” and I DO NOT LIKE the idea of 136 people (120 of whom are white) deciding who sits in these important seats that will have a huge impact on our big, diverse county. I want the input of the voters in my precinct!
If you don’t live in my precinct but you DO live in Travis County and care about these positions (which you should!!), you can look up your precinct chair and contact them here: https://www.traviscountydemocrats.org/precinct-chairs
The first vote will be for Travis County Democratic Party Chair this coming Monday, August 3 at 6:30pm, which is why I need to get in touch with folks before then.
This is a really important role currently held by Dyana Limon-Mercado, who is stepping down to run for Travis County Judge (which I’ll get to in a minute).
WHY IS COUNTY PARTY CHAIR IMPORTANT?
This person sets the tone for the Democratic party in our county, making sure that everyone feels welcome. They work to maintain a strong progressive coalition within all levels of local government and the community. They also are responsible for raising funds and spending $$ to make sure we can reach every single Democratic voter in Travis County and get them out to vote. There’s a million other things this person does that I’m glossing over, and it’s a tough role that is unpaid.
WHO IS RUNNING FOR COUNTY PARTY CHAIR?
Ed Espinoza and Katie Naranjo
Here is a candidate forum video: https://www.facebook.com/103905533194/videos/583713795866721
The next vote will be for the Democratic Travis County Judge nominee, most likely August 13. Because Travis is such a blue county, the Democratic nominee is almost assured to win this seat in the general election come November.
WHY IS COUNTY JUDGE IMPORTANT?
Confusingly, the County Judge is not a judge at all. They are basically the CEO of the county. They are the head of the commissioners court, the body that decides how the county collects money (a.k.a. county taxes) and spends money (on infrastructure like roads, facilities like jails, environmental protection, medical services, and certain aspects of our criminal justice system).
The County Judge is also responsible for emergency response… emergencies like, um, a pandemic. Needless to say, who we have in this role is CRUCIAL always but especially right now.
WHO IS RUNNING FOR TRAVIS COUNTY JUDGE?
Andy Brown, Dyana Limon-Mercado and County Commissioner Jeff Travillion
Here is a candidate forum video:
WHY ARE PRECINCT CHAIRS DECIDING THESE RACES??? THAT’S SUPER WEIRD
I agree! I hate it! A weird chain reaction happened when Kirk Watson stepped down before his term as State Senator for District 14 expired, but after we had already held our party primaries on March 3.
When Watson stepped down, our County Judge at the time, Sarah Eckhardt, decided to step down from THAT role to run for State Senator (and she just won that seat in the special election we had 7/14 after second-place finisher Eddie Rodriguez conceded).
When Eckhardt stepped down from County Judge, our Democratic County Party Chair, Dyana Limon-Mercado, decided to run for County Judge and stepped down from her role as Party Chair.
Because it was after the March 3 primary that all of this happened, our state rules say it’s up to the Travis County Democratic precinct chairs to decide who fills these two vacancies now.
So that’s how we ended up here, and it’s why I’m asking for all my Democratic and progressive neighbors to get in touch with me so I can make sure your voice is heard when I vote on these important roles.