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City clerk won't challenge convicted felon's run for Austin City Council

Conway told KVUE that Austin is leading the way on behalf of people with criminal backgrounds and is helping give them a fair chance at life.

AUSTIN — Monday was the last day to file for city council, and convicted felon Lewis Conway Jr. will be eligible to run.

Conway Jr., who served jail time for voluntary manslaughter, said that before Tuesday a law stood in his way of getting his name on the ballot.

“There is an ambiguous law that the state has yet to define, and they have put municipalities across Texas in tough positions by not defining their law,” said Conway.

The law questions Conway's eligibility, saying a felon can't hold public office unless he's been pardoned or "released from the resulting disabilities" of his conviction.

“We believe the only disabilities that we encountered, as somebody that lived with them, is that I could not vote and that I was still on parole,” Conway explained.

But Tuesday, Conway confirmed to KVUE that the Austin City Clerk wouldn't challenge his run for council because he provided proof that he doesn't have any disabilities.

Conway said he killed a man in 1991 in self-defense. He said he called police after the incident and eventually accepted a plea deal for voluntary manslaughter. Conway served eight years in prison and 12 more on probation. His voting rights were restored in 2013.

"Once we had resolved those disabilities, if we're able to vote in a race, you should be able to run in a race,” Conway said.

Conway told KVUE that Austin is leading the way on behalf of people with criminal backgrounds and is helping give them a fair chance at life.

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