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Strayhorn makes campaign for Mayor official

Thursday, November 13, 2008 by Austin Monitor

Former Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, who served as Austin’s Mayor for six years (1977-1983), has made official her desire to serve once more as Mayor.


On Wednesday, Strayhorn designated former Council Member Louise Epstein (1990-1993) as her campaign treasurer. In addition to the required city document, Strayhorn filed a copy of her 2004 appointment of campaign treasurer for her political action committee Friends of Carole Keeton Strayhorn.


Thornton Keel is the treasurer for that group, which reported more than $100,000 in funds on hand at the time of its last report in July. The City Council amended its campaign finance ordinance in September to prevent candidates from transferring funds from a race for a state position to a city race.


Strayhorn (then McClellan) served on the Austin School Board for four years prior to running for Austin Mayor the first time in 1977. In 1983, she was appointed to the State Board of Insurance, where she served until 1986.


That year she (now Rylander) changed from the Democratic to the Republican Party and ran an unsuccessful campaign against longtime Austin Congressman JJ “Jake” Pickle. She was elected to the Texas Railroad Commission in 1994. In 1998, she was elected as State Comptroller.


In 2006, Strayhorn ran as an Independent against incumbent Gov. Rick Perry, losing the race with only 18 percent of the vote.


It is no secret that Council Members Brewster McCracken and Lee Leffingwell are both interested in running for Mayor also. McCracken, who is getting married on Saturday, said he has asked attorney Martha Smiley to be his campaign treasurer and she has accepted.


However, McCracken said he is focusing on the wedding and is not ready to make a formal announcement.


One other filing for Mayor on Wednesday — Josiah Ingalls, 29, an Austin resident who says he wants to represent the “regular citizens” who have no money or power. He wants to focus on education, mass transit and homelessness.

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