More people than ever file to run for city offices

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin’s city government will look different than ever before following this November’s elections, and more people than ever are running for city offices.

“The rush kind of started last week, probably last Wednesday, and it’s been pretty much non-stop since then,” said City Clerk Jannett Goodall, who takes in the applications from potential mayor and council candidates. Dozens came in Monday, the last day for candidates running for mayor or city council to file their paperwork.

Unofficially, eight people have filed to run for mayor. Seventy people have filed for city council. But it’s not just a free-for-all. Candidates have to fill out official city applications and pay a fee of $500, or turn in a petition with anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred signatures.

This year Austin will have 10 city council members, each elected from and representing a geographic district. The city will still elect one mayor at-large. While the hopeful candidates are turning out, one man running for city council says most voters aren’t aware of the changes.

“It was eye-opening to me,” said Jason Meeker. “To knock on many doors and to find out that a large majority, I would say 80 or 90 percent of the people…don’t know that there’s been a change in our council structure.”

The city clerk hopes in the long run more people will respond to the new government makeup and turn out to vote.

The clerk’s office will draw names on Wednesday to determine the order the candidates’ names will appear on the ballot.

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