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KVUE hosts Austin mayoral debate ahead of runoff election

Kirk Watson and Celia Israel participated in the debate on Monday, Dec. 5.

AUSTIN, Texas — Early voting in the Austin runoff election starts on Thursday, Dec. 1, and runs through Friday, Dec. 9. Election Day is Tuesday, Dec. 13.

Voters will decide who will serve as the city's next mayor – State Rep. and Realtor Celia Israel or former Austin Mayor and former State Sen. Kirk Watson.

To help you make a decision, KVUE hosted a live, televised debate between the candidates on Monday, Dec. 5, at 6 p.m. The debate also aired live on our YouTube page and on KVUE+, available on Amazon Fire and Roku.

Tune in to hear their vision for the city. If you missed the live debate, you can watch it later on KVUE+ or YouTube below:

LIVE: Austin mayoral runoff debate

Neither Watson nor Israel received more than 50% in the Austin mayoral election, forcing a runoff.

Watson previously served as mayor of Austin from 1997 until 2001. In 2002, he ran for Texas attorney general and lost to Greg Abbott.

Watson spent 13 years in the Texas Senate, to which he was elected from 2007 to 2020 before he retired to become the first dean of the University of Houston’s Hobby School of Public Affairs.

According to her campaign website, Celia Israel has been an Austinite since 1982. She graduated from the University of Texas and served former Gov. Ann Richards’ administration before becoming a Realtor. She later became a member of the Texas House of Representatives, where she has represented the Austin area since 2014.

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