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Martinez kicks off unopposed race for second term on Council

Thursday, January 15, 2009 by Austin Monitor

Council Member Mike Martinez launched his re-election campaign for Place 2 in front of a full house at Nuevo Leon Restaurant in East Austin Wednesday night. Martinez told the crowd the priority for the Council in the coming year would be dealing with the economic downturn that is affecting the city’s budget.

 

“It’s for real. We all know it,” he said. “But the City of Austin is doing everything we can to balance our budget, to make sure that the shortfall in revenue doesn’t cut the core services.” He warned the audience that the Council would be making some difficult decisions over the next year on budget cuts.

 

“We don’t necessarily have to cut jobs,” he said. “But we have to review all of the areas that can find savings. There are no sacred cows. Something’s going to get cut in order to balance the budget this year. I accept that responsibility. I will make that decision. Some of you won’t like it, some of you will. But the bottom line is, we don’t have a choice as a Council. We must lead, we must make the decisions to keep Austin going and to keep Austin the place that we all want it to be.”

 

The diverse audience included several elected officials, including State Reps. Eddie Rodriguez, Elliott Naishtat and Dawnna Dukes, Council Member Lee Leffingwell, and Council Member Sheryl Cole.

 

Martinez’s mother, Teresa Alvarez, introduced the candidate. “In Michael, you will find an honorable young man filled with aspirations, hope, and dreams,” she said. “I feel very blessed to have the family that I have. In my son you will find a natural charisma, an infectious charm that is very addictive to be around. I may sound biased, but I’m his mother.”

 

Martinez said his mother’s struggles in his hometown of Caldwell helped spur his desire to enter public office. “She inspired me at an early, early age to stand up for what you believe in…to be respectful about it, but don’t give in. If you believe in it, fight for it, and that’s what I’ve been doing for the last two and a half years: fighting for the things I believe make Austin one of the best, if not the best city in the entire country,” he said. “I’m going to try it again. Based on the folks that are here, I think we have a good deal of support. I think we can win this election and continue what we began three years ago.”

 

So far, no challengers have signed up—or even hinted that they might—to run against Martinez in Place 2. Nevertheless, Martinez said he would campaign as if he had several opponents. And from what could be seen last night, he’s collecting the funds to do it, just in case another candidate materializes.

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