Austin City Council member Mike Martinez announced this morning he will run for mayor.
His campaign will officially kick off April 5, with Martinez planning campaign announcements in each of Austin's 10 new City Council districts.
"Because of the new district system and because we have moved our election to November, obviously it‘s going to be the highest voter turnout in a mayoral election than we have ever seen in the history of Austin," Martinez says. "Typically in May we see 30 to 40 thousand voters. We anticipate well over 200,000 voters in this November election, so that will be a major, major difference this year.”
This will be Austin's first council election with geographic representation in place. Martinez has supported the switch to the single-member districts since first taking office in 2006; he voted to put the 10-1 proposal on the ballot in November 2012.
Martinez served as an Austin firefighter for 13 years before being elected to the City Council. For three of those 13 years he also served as president of the Austin Firefighters Association. He was first elected to council in 2006, and was re-elected in 2009 and 2012. He also serves as chair of the Capital Metro Board of Directors, plus council subcommittees on Public Health and Human Services, Minority-Owned and Women-Owned Business Enterprise, and Small Business.
In his statement, Martinez laid out his 11 initial policy proposals, including creation of an "'Austin Affordability Index' that restricts City tax and spending increases."
So far, candidates for mayor include Martinez and attorney Stephen Adler. Martinez's fellow council member, Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole, has not announced her plans, but many believe she will run. Council member Laura Morrison announced just yesterday that she will not seek office.
Austin’s municipal election is set for Nov. 4. The first day to file for a place on the ballot is July 19.