Cedar Park could soon look more like Austin, if progressives have their way.
On May 5, Cedar Park residents will vote in a critical election that will determine the direction of their city. Multiple city council seats are up for grabs, and progressive candidates are working hard to take them.
Why is the election so important? If the progressive candidates are successful, it would flip the city council to a far more liberal ideology, which would in turn have costly impacts on residents’ wallets.
The three progressive candidates—Patrick Walz, Shellie Hays-McMahon, and Michael Thompson—and their group effort to take the city council has garnered attention from elected officials across the state.
Austin District 6 City Council Member Jimmy Flannigan has been actively promoting the group of liberal candidates. “Cedar Park is critical to our region… and is becoming a national story,” he said at a campaign event.
Flannigan described how he’s informed other state and federal elected officials, including Nancy Pelosi, on what has been happening in Cedar Park.
“Cedar Park will be a community that goes from all red to majority blue in a twelve-month time frame,” he stated. “The amazing work that Heather and Anne are doing on the city council now are a beacon to progressives in suburban and rural communities across the nation.”
Flannigan was referring to Heather Jefts and Anne Duffy, two progressives who won Cedar Park City Council seats last year. Both councilwomen have been vocal in supporting this year’s slate of liberal candidates. They both also voted to raise taxes in this year’s city budget.
Duffy, during her victory speech last year, said that “Obviously we had an agenda… we need to turn this place blue. We need to get more progressive thinking.”
What does turning Cedar Park blue look like? Ask Austin. Residents there are fleeing the city because of suffocating taxation and burdensome regulations.
If Cedar Park residents do not vote, they could begin seeing a similar trend.
Walz, Hayes-McMahon, and Thompson have all expressed ideas that could lead to a heavier tax burden and more regulations on Cedar Park residents.
Walz posted on Facebook that “As a progressive, I am ready to step in when the free-market fails to provide for the needs of the many.”
Hayes-McMahon echoed a similar sentiment, explaining on her website how government should “step in” to provide programs and benefits for residents.
Thompson stated that he wants Cedar Park to invest in affordable living and “encourage” local businesses and residents to use renewable energy sources.
To be clear, renewable energy sources aren’t the problem—it’s that campaign terms such as “invest,” “step in,” and “encourage” often translate into policies of higher taxes, increased government spending, and stricter, costly regulations.
Austin is currently practicing many of these ideas. It’s not going well for their taxpayers.
Walz’s opponent, candidate Mike Guevara, mentioned in a radio interview how these ideas would be costly for Cedar Park taxpayers.
“[The progressive candidates] have all these issues they want to come in and change, and they’re all going to cost money,” Guevara said, “but I haven’t heard one of them talk about where these finances are going to come from. That’s my biggest concern—they’re wanting to turn Cedar Park into Austin.”
Residents can hear from all the city council candidates at a public forum Thursday night. Details can be found here.
Early voting begins Monday and runs through Election Day on May 5.