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Steve Adler will not be endorsing an Austin mayoral candidate

The current Austin mayor said he might publicly support a candidate if the race goes to a runoff.

AUSTIN, Texas — As Austinites head to the polls on Tuesday, they’ll be selecting a new mayor. But Austin’s current mayor, Steve Adler, hasn’t said which of the six candidates he’s voting for.

Adler has reached his term limit, so he can’t run for mayor again. He told KVUE’s media partners at the Austin American-Statesman he’s not making an endorsement.

He said he might publicly support a candidate if the race goes to a runoff.

The frontrunners for the race are Kirk Watson and Celia Israel, who both have experience in local politics. Watson is a former Austin mayor and state senator, while Israel is a current state representative. Candidate Jennifer Virden, while unlikely to win, could earn enough votes to force a runoff between the two.

The runoff election would be held on Dec. 13.

According to the Statesman, speculation in political circles was that Adler would back Israel, who holds similar policy beliefs on housing and affordability.

Adler’s former advisor, Jim Wick, said it was surprising the mayor has not endorsed a candidate.

"He has always said he would make an endorsement in this race and that he views it as part of his duty as mayor to have a say publicly in who the next mayor is," Wick, who managed Adler's two mayoral campaigns, told the Statesman.

Previously, Adler had teased an endorsement, including at a South by Southwest panel in March where he said he planned on backing a candidate but declined to say if he had someone in mind.

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