The three-way race that included immigration attorney Richard Jung and longtime Democratic activist Garry Brown had initially appeared headed toward a run-off. That dynamic changed a few weeks ago when the Shea campaign broke from the pack to try to win without a runoff.
Shea took 65% in early voting, followed by Jung (19.56%) and Brown (15.50%).
Meyer said though many students on campus may feel separated from the decisions made at the Travis County Commissioner’s Court, issues like environmental concerns and water conservation are issues that students will face in the future.
“I think all of her issues, while they don’t seem directly related to students, are a big part of central Austin and the Austin community,” Meyer said. “UT students are a part of all these things that everyone else in Austin is affected by.”
Shea attributed her success to her campaign, family, friends and volunteers who have been making phone calls and walking the precinct.
"We’ve had a remarkable group of canvassers from [The University of Texas] and the community and an army of volunteers we call Brigid’s Brigade," she said.
Of the three, however, Shea offers a formidable combination of policy and political skills that would benefit the entire court as it navigates weighty regional issues like water and transportation. We believe Shea's demonstrated ability to bring people together and her capacity to reach across the aisle to find common ground make her the best of three good choices here.
Voters have plenty of talent from which to choose in the three candidates seeking the Travis County Precinct 2 commissioner post in the March 4 Democratic Primary. But Brigid Shea, with a strong record of advocacy on affordability, social justice and conservation issues, is best suited for the post.
The forum will be held at 6 p.m. at the Dell Jewish Community Campus, 7300 Hart Lane. Candidates for Travis County judge—Andy Brown and Sarah Eckhardt—and candidates for Travis County commissioner Precinct 2—Garry Brown, Richard Jung and Brigid Shea—will participate. A question-and-answer session will be held after introductions and attendees are encouraged to submit questions for the candidates.
Brigid Shea is a well known name in local politics. She served on the Austin City Council from 1993-1996 and is a co-founder of Save Our Springs. She is an adviser to LCRA and Green Mountain Energy among others.
"I think it's an indication that campaign consultants will go to great lengths to get endorsements," she said when asked about the day's events, saying that the endorsements are "not at all" significant in the broader scope of the campaign. Is it unethical? "Yes. I think that when you have so many clubs either acting or discussing the need to examine their bylaws," Shea says, "it speaks volumes."
One notable backer is Mark Littlefield, a former campaign consultant for Mayor Lee Leffingwell, who ran a hotly contested race against Shea in 2012. In an email blast, Shea prominently touted Littlefield's support. "Even though I opposed Brigid when she ran for Mayor," Littlefield wrote, "we have made peace."
When it comes to raising campaign funds, Brigid Shea leads the candidates in the Precinct 2 Travis County Commissioner race, with almost double the amount of contributions given to her two opponents combined. They are running for the seat vacated by Sarah Eckhardt in order to run for County Judge...
...“From the beginning I’ve said this campaign is a big tent,” said Shea. “My contributors range from former political opponents to environmentalists and many in between. With so many important issues to work on in the community, we can’t afford to let ourselves be divided over personal disagreements. It’s crucial we have a civil dialogue and pursue opportunities to work together.”
While some gun enthusiasts have taken to the comment section of various news outlets to express their discontent many aspiring politicians are weighing in with their support of the County's decision.
Former City Councilwoman and candidate for Commissioner Precinct 2 Brigid Shea said, "I don't understand why reasonable people wouldn't want background checks on anyone buying guns."
Shea has made property tax reform a big part of her campaign. For years, a loophole in the way commercial properties have their property values assessed has artificially lowered the tax rate on commercial real estate – thus shifting some of the property tax burden to residential homeowners. Shea says filling that loophole would prove a massive boon to homeowners in Travis County, for whom property taxes have been a part of the market forces making the Austin metropolitan area increasingly less affordable.
[Brigid Shea's] eldest son is in high school now, and she says her thinking about the kind of community her kids are likely to inherit is driving her latest campaign. "I'm very concerned about the kind of future we're leaving for the next generation," she says. "I have two teenage boys, and I would love for them to be able to live and work in Austin." But "we're not on that path." One major thrust of her campaign is a proposed effort to get the Legislature to alter loopholes in the property tax structure...
Clean Water Action has announced that it is endorsing long-time environmental champion Brigid Shea for Travis County Commissioner, Precinct 2. Clean Water Action is one of Texas' leading grass-roots environmental organizations with over 25,000 members in Travis County.
“It is difficult to imagine a more qualified candidate than Brigid for this position,” said David Foster, State Director for Clean Water Action. “She brings a wealth of expertise, a proven record of building consensus among diverse stakeholders, and a genuine passion to protect our environment and quality of life. We need energetic leadership on the Commissioners Court, and that's why we are endorsing Brigid Shea.”
El senador Eddie Rodriguez, junto con un grupo de latinos, se reunieron el lunes 2 de diciembre para apoyar la candidatura de Bridgid Shea al puesto de comisionada del Condado de Travis.
“Shea noted a common theme she hears from county residents: their inability to pay rising property tax bills.”
“As of press time, former Austin Council member Brigid Shea is the sole filed Democratic candidate to succeed Eckhardt. However, with tech CEO and leading Asian-American community voice Richard Jung poised to run, that race will likely become a tough fight between the old center city (where Shea faces an extra underdog challenge from former county court and congressional staffer Garry Brown), and the growing population in the Northwest. The winner will face the sole GOP candidate, former sheriff Raymond Frank.”
“I don’t think that the solution is to compound the problems by building more public infrastructure over our most sensitive watershed,” Shea said.
The long-planned road would be built over the recharge zone of the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer and through a habitat for rare and endangered species. In June, TxDOT started a two-year study of the project’s environmental effects, a necessary move before it could be built. Opponents of the road asked commissioners to wait for the results of that review before backing the project.
Read Brigid's stance on F1 funding here.
At least one critic plans to challenge the proposal at the meeting Tuesday. Brigid Shea, who is running for commissioner in Precinct 2, said taxpayers have already provided millions of dollars in incentives and infrastructure upgrades benefiting the racetrack, and she noted the Circuit of the Americas filed a lawsuit earlier this month challenging its property assessment — and ultimately, its tax bill.
“They don’t want to pay their fair share of county taxes, yet they want to use our tax dollars to subsidize their racetrack,” Shea said.
But Gómez’s proposal was also met with considerable opposition: consumer advocate Bill Oakey said he preferred Todd’s idea to work with a committee; former Austin City Council member and commissioner candidate Brigid Shea was against the spending; and former commissioner and county judge candidate Sarah Eckhardt contested Gómez’s claim that the need for roadwork is not surfacing because of the Circuit.
“…Former Austin Mayor Bruce Todd – who was appointed by Judge Sam Biscoe to Precinct 2 to replace Sarah Eckhardt when she stepped down to run for county judge – proposed waiting 45 days and forming a stakeholder task force to see which roads in the area were a real priority. Both Eckhardt and Brigid Shea (running to succeed Eckhardt) turned up to back Todd's plan…”
“Environmentalist Brigid Shea published a media-savvy package of glowing YouTube testimonials from state Sen. Kirk Watson, ex Texas Ag Commissioner Jim Hightower, former Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos, Austin NAACP President Nelson Linder, and Livable City Chair Ann Kitchen. Joining the effusive headliners were AISD Chair Vince Torres, environmentalist Robin Rather, and community activist Paul Saldana, all gathered for the Sunday grand opening of Shea's campaign headquarters.”
“Citing the growing threat of drought-induced wildfires in the county, Shea also vowed to work on disaster prevention and preparedness measures. We have all the talent and skill in Travis County to design a model program,’ she said. ‘We can both preserve our natural resources and keep our residents safe.’”
Finally, Shea pledged to reform a “broken property tax system [that has] put an undue burden on homeowners and small businesses. Residential property appraisals have more than doubled in the recent decade, causing homeowners’ tax bills to go through the roof,” she said. “The process is broken and I will make it my business to fix it.”
See Brigid's plan to fix the broken property tax system here.