Austin City Council Election 1979

The 1979 election was remarkable on several counts.

All seven incumbents elected in 1977 were reelected by overwhelming margins against token candidates.

The South Texas Nuclear Project was facing big cost overruns and there was fierce citizen opposition to coughing up more money, hence two opposing propositions on the same election ballot:

Proposition 1 to approve an additional $215,850,000 for continuing full participation in the city’s 16 percent of the nuclear plant were approved by 53 percent of voters.

Proposition 2, which would have authorized the sale all of Austin’s 16 percent share in the nuke, was narrowly defeated with 49 percent in favor of the sale, 51 percent opposed.

Also notable in the 1979 election: Proposition 5 lowered the age requirement to qualify a person to run for city council from 25 to 18. This measure was approved by 61 percent of voters. This marked a significant shift in attitudes, because a proposition to lower the age requirement to 21 was rejected by 56 percent of voters in 1973.

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