The Austin Runoff election is December 13

The race for Austin Mayor and City Council Districts 3, 5, and 9 are headed to a runoff. Early voting will be open from December 1-9.

Austin City Council Candidates' positions on I-35

Among the candidates heading to a run-off:

  • 75% of candidates OPPOSE I-35 expansion*
  • 77.5% of candidates SUPPORT a full study into alternatives, including Rethink35 and Reconnect Austin

Following the November 8, 2022 election:

  • 100% of candidates who got the most votes in their race oppose I-35 expansion and support studying alternatives
  • 100% (2 of 2) of candidates who won outright without going to a runoff oppose I-35 expansion and support studying alternatives

*Rethink35 invited all candidates to submit a statement, plus sign an optional Pledge: “I pledge to publicly oppose TxDOT’s proposed I-35 expansion and to support a comprehensive study into alternatives to expansion, including Rethink35 and Reconnect Austin.”**

31 candidates either replied to us and/or we were able to find their views on I-35 from statements made during media appearances or candidate forums. On the basis of all the information we have available, we made a holistic assessment (listed below) about whether the candidate opposed expansion and whether they supported a study of alternatives.

Disclaimer: Rethink35 does not endorse or oppose any candidates. The below information is intended for informational purposes only.

Candidate Statements

MAYOR DISTRICT 3 DISTRICT 5 DISTRICT 9

Find your Austin City Council district

Let candidates know what you think of their views on I-35 and consider getting involved in their campaign. See here for candidates' websites and social media platforms.

Candidates, click here to share your statement on I-35.

Mayoral Candidates

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Celia Israel

  • Opposes I-35 expansion: YES
  • Supports study of alternatives: YES

“The current plan to expand I-35 is unacceptable. We must embrace a vision that… creates meaningful connections between East and West Austin, buries and caps central Austin, and does not widen the highway.”

View Full Statement

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Kirk Watson

  • Opposes I-35 expansion: NO
  • Supports study of alternatives: NO

“I support where TxDOT is headed with regard to I-35… Whether you like cars or not, people are driving cars and this would make that road operate better.”

View Full Statement

District 3 Candidates

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Daniela Silva

  • Opposes I-35 expansion: YES
  • Supports study of alternatives: YES

“This means supporting a “no-wider and no-higher” policy and instead re-thinking I-35 to improve east-west connectivity.”

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José Velásquez

  • Opposes I-35 expansion: YES
  • Supports study of alternatives: YES

“We can no longer contribute to, and reinforce the concept of, a divided city. We need to ensure that TXDOT is working towards options that are a reflection of our communities goals.”

View Full Statement

District 5 Candidates

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Ryan Alter

  • Opposes I-35 expansion: NO
  • Supports study of alternatives: YES

“I think more can be achieved if we are willing to continue to fight for real solutions that are right for Austin."

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Stephanie Bazan

  • Opposes I-35 expansion: YES
  • Supports study of alternatives: YES

“I oppose TxDOT’s proposed expansion of I-35... Reviewing meaningful alternatives makes sense for our community and the environment.”

View Full Statement

District 9 Candidates

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Linda Guerrero

  • Opposes I-35 expansion: YES
  • Supports study of alternatives: YES

“I'm deeply concerned about TxDOT’s proposed widening of I-35… I think a greener, more sustainable I-35 area can only be realized by the cap-and-stitch process currently being discussed by stakeholders.”

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Zohaib Qadri.jpg

Zohaib "Zo" Qadri

  • Opposes I-35 expansion: YES
  • Supports study of alternatives: YES

“I-35 expansion isn’t the answer, but instead this moment can be a vehicle in and of itself in pushing our city to look at investing in multi-modal, pedestrian-friendly, and robust public transportation reforms.”

View Full Statement

**Such a study must examine the effects of the above proposals on human health and the environment (including air quality, carbon emissions, water quality, flooding, noise, vehicular-related deaths and serious injuries, emergency response times), transportation (including transportation choice and affordability, trip times, automobile Vehicle Miles Traveled, street network connectivity, mode split, access, induced demand), the economy (including tax base/revenues, investment, jobs, local businesses, minimizing sprawl growth, fiscal sustainability), housing (number of housing units, rent/purchasing costs), quality of life (vibrancy, pleasantness, sense of place, social connectedness), equity (including all of the above plus displacement/gentrification, revenues for equity-oriented programs, closing socioeconomic gaps between communities, equitable transit oriented development), and compatibility with local plans (including the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan, Vision Zero, the Austin Street Design Guide, the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan, the City of Austin Great Streets Master Plan, and the Austin Climate Equity Plan).