Why is there another mayoral election in Austin in 2024?

Have you been asking yourself that question? We’ve got the answer to why Austinites are voting for mayor just two years after the last election.


Current Mayor Kirk Watson has yet to formally announce his plans to run for mayor again.

Photo provided by Workforce Solutions Capital Area

With a jam-packed election year on the horizon and candidates for Austin’s November mayoral election announcing their intentions to run, you may find yourself asking, “Wasn’t there just a mayoral election in 2022?”

You’re not having déjà vu — there was a mayoral race just two years ago and mayoral terms usually last four years, so what gives? Let’s break it down.

Why is there a mayoral election in 2024 if there was one in 2022?

In short, it’s to line up the mayoral race with the presidential race.

In 2021, Austinites voted yes on Proposition D, which aligned mayoral elections with presidential elections, starting in 2024. Previously, mayoral elections were aligned with gubernatorial elections.

The idea behind Prop D was to increase voter turnout, but passing it also meant that the mayor elected in 2022 would serve two years instead of four.

Who is running this year?

According to the City of Austin, the 2024 Candidate Packet will not be released until Thursday, May 2. Incumbent Mayor Kirk Watson has yet to make a formal announcement in the race, but has previously stated that he plans to run again.

Others who have officially announced their candidacy are former City Council Member Kathie Tovo, Go! Austin/Vamos! Austin Executive Director Carmen Llanes Pulido, and Interfaith organizer Doug Greco.

What else is on the local ballot in 2024?

Aside from mayor, the following positions will be on the ballot:

  • District 2
  • District 4
  • District 6
  • District 7
  • District 10

You can keep up with the 2024 local election on this page.