Sheryl Cole and tech executive announce run for State Representative

Sheryl Cole

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Former Austin Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole and an Austin technology executive have announced they are running for State Representative.

Cole and Nnamdi Orakwue are looking to replace Representative Dawnna Dukes in District 46. Cole made the announcement at the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center in East Austin.

Dukes will resign her seat on Jan. 10; resulting in a special election. Rep. Dukes says she is stepping down due to health problems. The Texas Rangers wrapped up an investigation back in the fall and handed the case over to the Travis County District Attorney’s Office into whether Dukes used public resources for private purposes. 

KXAN asked Cole about her number one priority.

“Education is a key issues for District 46 so I plan to work real hard with AISD to deal with funding formula,” said Cole. She also says she wants to focus on women’s rights and promote funding for foster children.

Democrat Nnamdi Orakwue, software executive and entrepreneur, has announced his run for State Representative as well. Orakwue is a Harvard and Wharton Business School graduate. He came to Austin six years ago to work as Chief of Staff directly under Micheal Dell. He then left to start his own technology company in downtown Austin. If he is elected, Orakwue says education and health care will top his list of priorities.

“Education is huge, I think that we’re under funding public education and I want to do something about that,” said Orakwue. “On the health care side there are 4.6 million Texans that are uninsured in Texas. That’s unacceptable, I think we should accept Medicaid expansion and insure some of these Texans.”

Libertarian candidate Kevin Ludlow tells KXAN he also plans to enter the race.