AUSTIN (KXAN) — Don Zimmerman has lost his Austin City Council seat to Jimmy Flannigan.
KXAN’s Kylie McGivern, at Flannigan’s watch party, talked to the candidate, who is “overjoyed” at the early voting totals that put him in a strong lead. “[They’re] even better than I expected.”
“I’m going to be the first Williamson County resident to serve on Austin City Council, I’ll be the first gay man to serve on Austin City Council – there’s nothing “old Austin” about me serving on city council,” Flannigan said Tuesday night. “[Zimmerman] got his shot on city council and the voters have spoken that it’s time for new leadership.”
Flannigan continued, “Anytime you win an election with 57-58 percent, you’re talking about a mandate. And it’s clear to me District 6 said we want leadership that can be productive.”
In 2014, Zimmerman beat Flannigan by less than 200 voters for the District 6 council seat.
In his two years, Zimmerman tested his fellow council members and even sued the city twice, promising to fight for taxpayers and to relieve the pressure from the Austin bureaucracy.
Zimmerman called the early voting results “terrible” and admitted he was surprised by the results.
“The early voting results tell me that the District 6 voters want a downtown representative, they want to go back to the old, downtown 7-member council and they will get that from my opponent,” Zimmerman told KXAN Tuesday night at his campaign office. “We need to have a counter voice. The spending is out of control, we need a voice of reason.”
Zimmerman said because of that, Austin will only continue to become more unaffordable. Though frustrated, he said, “We respect the will of voters and they spoke, so I respect that and good luck to my opponent.”