Krista Laine aims for Council's only Republican

A center-left candidate emerges in far northwest Austin.

Krista Laine aims for Council's only Republican
Krista Laine.

OK folks, no newsletters next week. Merry Xmas.

There are a lot of things that distinguish District 6 from the rest of the city.

It's arguably the only Council district that is entirely outside of the "urban core," and if there are others that meet that description (maybe D2), it's certainly the only one that doesn't even come close to the core. Much of the district, which is made up of far northwest suburbs, was annexed by the city over the past 30 years, and many of its residents, most notably former Council Member Don Zimmerman, have made it clear they are not happy about being part of the city.

It has by far the largest Asian population (23%) of any district. It is the only district where Hispanics are not the first or second biggest demographic.

Finally, perhaps no district has produced more drama at City Hall than D6, which in its young life has, for better or worse, elected three personally and politically polarizing representatives.

It started out with Zimmerman, the bombastic Tea Party Republican (remember the Tea Party?) who can now be found outside of middle schools blaming the anti-Christ for queer people.

It was sweet justice that the virulently homophobe was ousted in 2016 by Jimmy Flannigan, a gay Democrat. Flannigan at first seemed a perfect political fit for the purple district, but his hunger for spotlight and confrontation ("I will continue to diminish your work, Kathie!") as well as his support for controversial progressive policies on homelessness and policing made him an easy target for conservatives.

And now there's Mackenzie Kelly. It's been a trip.