Student and AISD candidate holds his head high

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Government junior Zachary Price lost the race for Austin Independent School District 4 Trustee. His campaign focused on addressing mental health issues, preventing sexual assault and promoting equity throughout the district.

Photo Credit: Carlos Garcia | Daily Texan Staff

Despite losing his race for Austin Independent School District 4 Trustee, Zachary Price said he does not regret his campaign, which was supported by multiple citywide groups, young voters, friends and former teachers at Anderson High School.

“The results weren’t exactly what I wanted them to be,” government junior Price said. “I feel like I did everything I could, and the support I got from people I did not think I would ever meet was incredible. I wouldn’t take this back for the world.”

Price entered the race two and a half months ago after parents and community activists asked him to do so. His campaign focused on addressing mental health issues, preventing sexual assault and promoting equity throughout the district. He said his experience as both a student and volunteer in AISD made him a strong candidate, even though he is 20 years old.

Many local and statewide groups endorsed Price for the nonpartisan position, including Education Austin, the teacher and employee union for AISD. Education Austin President Ken Zarifis said although Price lost to an older, more “traditional” candidate, his campaign will shape the board’s priorities.

“I believe what he ran on will resonate into this next board,” Zarifis said. “He changed how people are looking at some of these issues.”

Grace Schrobilgen, a Spanish and health and society junior, is a longtime friend of Price and cast her ballot for him. She said although the margin of defeat was large at roughly 33 percentage points, the number of votes for Price shows growing support for candidates who more appropriately voice the concerns of students.

“He got right about a third of the vote, but that’s 11,000 people,” Schrobilgen said. “That’s pretty impressive … All of the support was crazy. The number of people that came out block-walking for him, who couldn’t even vote, was amazing.”

Election results nationwide yielded a record number of LGBTQ, women and minority congresspersons. Price said as one of the youngest candidates he was proud to contribute to the diversifying composition of representatives who more accurately reflect the needs and values of constituents, and he encourages others like him to run with a strong platform.

“If you want to go for it, there is nothing to stop you other than the results on the other end,” Price said. “This wasn’t my plan for my junior year of college, and it went really well anyway.”