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  • Writer's pictureNorth Shore Democrats of Travis County

Meet Jett Hanna, Daniel Wang, and Dick Lavine, NSD’s endorsed candidates for TCAD

Even a cursory review of the qualifications of candidates in this May 4 race clearly shows the superior abilities and skills of Daniel Wang, Jett Hanna, and Dick Lavine. NSD has endorsed the candidacies of all three.

But you be the judge. Here is a review of the competing candidates. In addition to Wang (Place 2), Hanna, (Place 1), and Lavine (Place 3), three are three Republicans and one Libertarian on the ballot. None of the latter four have anything resembling relevant experience.

Wang, Hanna, and Lavine have oodles of relevant experience, while their opponents are basically political hacks — that is, when we could find any info on them.

Candidates for Place 1

Jett Hanna is a native Texan who came to Austin in 1980 for law school. He is a retired attorney who was board certified in commercial real estate law and served on the Appraisal Board from 1988 to 1990. As a Senior Vice President, Jett helped his customer-owned insurance company improve from a C- to an A Best Rating. He is currently a member of the Texas Supreme Court Professional Ethics Committee. Among his volunteer activities are volunteering with the Del Valle Correctional Facility chaplain's office to facilitate meditation and helping with local hospital emergency communications as an amateur radio operator. He is married with two children and a lifelong Democrat. He will work for fair appraisals, accountable leadership, courteous customer service, and a qualified appraisal review board.

Opponent: Don Zimmerman, Republican: former member of the Austin city council, and a failed candidate in his subsequent political career. Interestingly for a candidate for the TCAD, Zimmerman is a founder of the Travis County Taxpayers Union, an organization that opposes local tax increases, and served as the treasurer of its political action committee. He is well known as a pro-life, anti-LGBTQ loudmouth. While on the Austin council, he ignited a social media firestorm over his comments on gay marriage and sued the city over its campaign finance rules, among other startling initiatives.

Candidates for Place 2

Shenghao "Daniel" Wang grew up in Austin, and attended Harvard law school. Upon graduation, he returned home where he now practices electricity regulation and focuses on building a more sustainable, resilient grid. He is a community organizer who serves on the boards for his local alumni clubs, volunteers for voter registration and protection efforts, and co-leads the Austin Asian Professional Network. He is a Democrat. He is running to ensure that we can fund schools, roads, firefighters, and other public services fairly and efficiently.

Donation Link: https//

Opponent 1: Matt Mackowiak, Travis County Republican Chair, an Austin and Washington, DC-based political and communications consultant. He is president of Potomac Strategy Group LLC, a political-consulting outfit. 

Opponent 2: Jonathan Patschke, Treasurer, Travis County Libertarian Party. No further information available.

Candidates for Place 3

Dick Lavine: A Harvard educated lawyer and chartered financial analyst, Dick has spent a lifetime serving the public interest. He spent ten years at the research arm of the Texas Legislature and almost thirty more with Every Texan, a nonprofit working to strengthen public policy to expand opportunity and equity for Texans of all backgrounds. His work to improve Texas' state/local tax system is highly respected throughout the Texas Capitol. He is a trustee of the City of Austin Employees Retirement System and proud board member of a union of retired state workers. He is a Democrat. Dick is running to ensure fair and accurate property tax appraisals, to strengthen taxpayer protections, to guarantee efficient use of taxpayer dollars, and to preserve the integrity of the appraisal district from inappropriate political interference.

Opponent: Bill May, Republican; We could find nothing about him online.


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