Burnt Orange Report enthusiastically endorses Sarah Eckhardt for Travis County Judge, owing to her public service experience and knowledge of how to put progressive policy ideas into practice.
The race for Travis County Judge has seen more activity this cycle than it has in 16 years. That's because two local, relatively high-profile Democrats are vying to replace the retiring Sam Biscoe, and the race has taken on an engaging dynamic. The experienced former Precinct 2 County Commissioner Sarah Eckhardt faces Andy Brown, a well-connected Democratic political strategist with a penchant for campaigning. His campaign has many high-profile endorsements from elected officials and Democratic clubs across the county. There's no doubt about it: he's got the appearance of a rising star.
Don't let it distract you; of the two, Sarah Eckhardt would make the far better Travis County Judge. This is the office of the lone county-wide elected official who sets the agenda for the county's executive board of commissioners.
While serving as county commissioner, Eckhardt improved the salaries of those working on county contracts while writing new policy for awarding tax rebates to businesses that begin operating in Travis County. She has expanded the homestead exemption for Travis County seniors and the disabled to $70,000 without placing an unsustainable burden on the rest of the community.
In its recent endorsement of Eckhardt, the Austin American-Statesman wrote that Eckhardt “did her homework and has accurately been described as a policy wonk” both as commissioner and as candidate. Her grasp of Travis County's needs has shown through in her campaign, as she routinely impresses at forums when discussing ways the county can address transportation, water needs, and the need for economic stimulation in disadvantaged areas. Brown, on the other hand, often appears at a loss. While some of his ideas are good ones, he hasn't backed them up with plans for execution — something almost anyone paying attention to the race will tell you.
Travis County and the Central Texas region are rapidly growing. This presents serious governing challenges. Residents deserve a county leader whose priority and passion is finding policy solutions so that Travis County moves forward adeptly.
That leader is Sarah Eckhardt.
Early Voting: February 18-February 28, 2014 | Election Day: Tuesday March 4
Photo Voter ID is required to vote. Click here for a list of acceptable forms of ID.
Travis County voting locations can be found HERE.
Endorsements are made based on a weighted consensus of the staff, which guides the type and tone of endorsement. Members of the Burnt Orange Report staff with any conflict of interest in a given race abstain from voting on that race.