West Lake Hills residents who want to vote for the city’s next mayor this spring will have to take a trip to City Hall and cast a standalone paper ballot.
The city’s election this May is being held separately from other local municipal elections, such as the Eanes school board races, for the first time in years because of a legal back-and-forth over the mayor’s race.
In a normal year, most cities, school districts and other entities within Travis County pay the county to run their elections to save money. Smaller municipalities split the cost of the county’s election operation and voters cast one ballot to vote in all the races they are eligible for at one time.
However, this year it was not clear if West Lake Hills would have any contested races until after the county ballots were programmed on March 14. Both City Council races in West Lake Hills this spring are uncontested and the mayor’s race was tied up in court until March 18.
Mayor Linda Anthony is running for reelection against challenger Jeff Taylor. After the deadline to submit candidate paperwork had passed, Taylor filed a formal challenge to Anthony’s candidacy on the grounds that the form was incomplete because she had left the “occupation” box blank.
Anthony is retired and said she did not have an occupation to include in the box. The city secretary agreed with Taylor’s challenge, though the paperwork had previously been accepted, and took Anthony out of the running to reclaim her seat, which would have left Taylor as the only candidate.
Anthony took the issue to the Texas Supreme Court, which ruled in her favor and allowed her to formally enter the race. Before that decision came down, the city canceled its election with the county on March 11. By the time the Supreme Court ruled on March 18, the county ballots were…
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