They called her a “toxic reactionary” Nazi. They falsely claimed she was associated with white supremacist groups. They even tried to accuse her of hypocrisy regarding COVID-19 restrictions. Yet, despite the odds, Mackenzie Kelly powered through and won a seat on Austin’s city council for the sixth district.
After incumbent Councilmember Jimmy Flannigan failed to get the required percentage of votes to win re-election on Nov. 3, he faced challenger Mackenzie Kelly in a runoff election that was decided on Tuesday. According to the unofficial numbers, Kelly defeated Flannigan by four points, receiving 52% of the vote to Flannigan’s 48%.
This victory is notable for several reasons: on the day of the general election, Flannigan led Kelly by seven points with 40% of the vote to Kelly’s 33%.
Flannigan told his supporters during a virtual watch party that he will continue his work. “I am excited for the rest of my colleagues who I know will continue this work and the future council member who I hope does her best to represent this district with honor and brings the amazing and powerful voices I have come to love and appreciate that are in this district,” he said.
This is not the first time that Kelly has run for local office. She ran in 2014 and earned about 9% of the vote. She is also the president of Take Back Austin, a local advocacy group whose mission is to “unite the people of Austin and restore common sense and community impact to our local government,” and to explore “solutions for the challenges in which we face and we are unifying to take back Austin.”
Kelly told RedState that Austin Mayor Steve Adler and several members of the council congratulated her on her victory. On the night of her win, she released a statement:
“From standing courageously behind our law enforcement community to demanding safer conditions for our homeless population to fighting for transparency at City Hall, the voice of Northwest Austin has been heard. Considering the stark differences between my campaign’s priorities and the platform of the incumbent, their united voice is resoundingly clear this evening! I am honored to be the next representative for District 6 on the Austin City Council and will work immediately to begin healing the divisions in our community.”
The most important reason why Kelly’s victory is significant is that once she takes office, she will be the only conservative on a legislative body that has been dominated by far-left politicians for years. It was this governmental entity that voted to defund Austin’s police department and repeal the ordinance banning the homeless from camping in the city. She will be a voice not only for Austin’s conservative residents but for those who desire common-sense leadership instead of pie-in-the-sky Marxist ideas.
Kelly stated that her top three priorities when she takes office will be: “Refunding the police department, reinstating the police academy (we are at staffing levels in 2020 where we were in 2015), and providing solutions to those experiencing homelessness to lift them out of their situation”
When asked how it feels to be representing conservatives on the council, Kelly said: “Being the only conservative on Austin’s City council gives me the unique opportunity to bring balance and critical thinking to the dais. I’m excited to not just have the support of the district I represent but also that of other conservatives all over the city.”
Matt Mackowiak, chairman of the Travis County Republican Party, lauded Kelly’s triumph. He told RedState:
“Mackenzie Kelly ran a great campaign. She truly earned this victory. Her message of restoring public safety, demanding transparency at City Hall and fighting for taxpayers resonated across the district — and across the city. She showed that with the right message and with enough effort, we can turn Austin around.”
Kelly’s win could also be an sign that attitudes in the city might be gradually changing as the Democratic Party lurches further to the left in cities like Austin. Jennifer Virden, a conservative candidate running in District 10, made a tremendous showing against incumbent Alison Alter. While she did not win her race, she only lost by two percentage points. This could possibly be the start of a shift in the city’s political zeitgeist.
While Austin remains firmly blue, it seems that the Marxists’ hold on the city’s government isn’t quite as strong as it looks. The Travis County Republican Party has what appears to be a golden opportunity to start making inroads amid a time when the Democrats are working feverishly to turn Texas blue. Hopefully, they will take advantage of it.
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