Developer dollars flow to favored council candidates – The Austin Bulldog

Our analysis provides insights about patterns of giving

Austin’s top employment sectors are healthcare, education, business services, and government, but you wouldn’t know it based on local political giving.

According to The Austin Bulldog’s analysis of donations to City Council candidates in the first six months of 2020, the real estate and construction industries account for a significant share of political giving.

Overall, 19 percent of all candidate fundraising through June 30—some $91,500 out of $476,342—came from persons working in real estate, construction, or related professions like real estate law, architecture, brokerage, urban design, property management, or title insurance.

Greg Casar, David Chincanchan, and Jimmy Flannigan

The bulk of that giving, nearly $68,000, went to just three candidates: District 4 incumbent Greg Casar, District 2 candidate David Chincanchan, and District 6 incumbent Jimmy Flannigan.

Employees at one large firm, Endeavor Real Estate Group, donated exclusively to those three candidates, for a total of $12,745. The firm describes itself as “one of the most active developers in Central Texas.”

These donations could help tip the scales in competitive races this year, as four council members seek reelection