This article is written by KUT's City Hall reporting partner, the Austin Monitor.
Council Member Laura Morrison, who has served on the Austin City Council for nearly six years and has been considered a likely candidate for Mayor on the November ballot told the Austin Monitor today that she has decided against the race.
Morrison, 59, said decision was a difficult one for her. “I love this job and it’s been … very complicated and difficult. It’s taken me a long time to make this decision.” Weighing all the pros and cons of a race that might cost up to a million dollars, Morrison said, “I just think a different future is what’s right for me.”
She added, “This has been the most rewarding job I've ever had in my life and it has been an incredible privilege and honor to be able to serve the public. I don't know what I want to do next but certainly I love this town. I love public service. I love the community that we have and the people that are involved and hopefully I’ll be able to work into something that sort of builds on all those things.”
Morrison has been known as a fierce advocate for neighborhoods and has played an instrumental role in numerous regulations and ordinances enacted to protect neighborhoods and the environment.
Several Morrison supporters have been circulating an email urging folks to sign a letter encouraging the Council member to run for the city’s top job. As of this afternoon, 89 people had signed up. The site is www.draftLaura4mayor.com.
She said the effort has “been extremely meaningful to me and I've really appreciated all the people who have encouraged me to run. I would say one of the most difficult parts of this decision is knowing that some of those folks are going to be disappointed. It really means a lot to me,” she said.
She said she decided to announce the decision today “partly in response to the fact that there was that website.”
The two candidates most likely to run at this point are attorney Steve Adler and Council Member Mike Martinez. Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole has not indicated whether she will run or not.