Runoff Election Today

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Today is the runoff election that will determine who holds Place 5 on the Austin City Council. Polls are open until 7p.m., so there is plenty of time to vote today. The candidates are Margot Clarke and Brewster McCraken.

Brewster has attracted support from the moneyed interests and suburban voters, while Margot has been getting most of her support from central city voters. Truth is, on most issues they aren't really that far apart.

There is, however, one issue that separates them: the new smoking ban.

If Brewster is elected, the ordinance probably will fall. There is a good chance the council will re-examine the issue once Mayor Garcia leaves office. Brewster has indicated he's against the ordinance, which means if he's elected the opposition would have a 4-3 majority, and the ban would be rescinded.

Margot, on the other hand, supports the smoking ban. So, if she's elected there is a greater chance it will survive. It's one of the reasons why I voted for her.

If the smoking ban is an issue you feel strongly about, you probably want to participate in today's election.