Austin mayoral candidate Celia Israel (David Taffet/Dallas Voice)

Celia Israel, one of the founders of the Texas LGBT Legislative Caucus, is the target of last minute attacks in her race to become Austin’s new mayor. Her main opponent is former state Sen. Kirk Watson. Both Israel and Watson are Democrats running in a non-partisan race.

Watson is backed by a group called Stand Together Austin. In the last days of the campaign, Stand Together Austin sent a mass text message that reads:

This is Alex from Stand Together Austin letting you know that Celia Israel stopped a bill that would have provided funding to victims of domestic violence in 2021. Celia may have felt comfortable taking money away from those who need it, but we know we should never turn our backs to victims of violent crime. Can we count on you to Stand Together Austin and vote for Kirk Watson, who will stand up for victims of domestic violence?

Israel responded saying, “I’ve spoken publicly multiple times about my personal experiences w/ domestic violence. So I take even greater offense that I’m now the target of last minute, deceitful campaign texts claiming I’ve turned my back on survivors.”

With multiple candidates running, a runoff is expected between Israel and Watson.

— David Taffet