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Mark Richardson is a multimedia journalist, editor and writer who has worked in digital, print and broadcast media for three decades. He is a nationally recognized editor and reporter who has covered government, politics and the environment. A journalism graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, he was recently awarded a Foundation for Investigative Journalism grant and has three Associated Press Managing Editors awards for excellence in reporting.
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Three incumbents declare intention to seek re-election
All three Austin City Council members whose terms expire next spring have indicated that they plan to run to keep their seats. Even through Council Members Chris Riley, Randi Shade and Laura Morrison can’t officially file to run for office until February, none are wasting any time naming a campaign manager after Monday’s legal starting date for soliciting contributions.
Shade and Morrison are completing their first three-year terms on the Council. Shade defeated incumbent Jennifer Kim in 2008 while Morrison won out over local urban planner Cid Galindo in the same election. Riley defeated civic activist Perla Cavasos in 2009 to finish the unexpired term of then-Council Member Lee Leffingwell, who moved a couple of seats over to the Mayor’s chair last year.
In her first term, Shade has served as chair of the Council’s Public Health and Human Services Committee, and as a member of the Audit and Finance Committee, Emerging Technology and Telecommunications Committee, and the Minority-Owned and Women-Owned Business Enterprise and Small Business Committee. She has also served as the City Council’s representative on the board of directors of the Pecan Street Project, and as a member of the Community Action Network Resource Council.
Austin Attorney and Democratic activist Beverly G. Reeves will serve as Shade’s campaign treasurer. Her core campaign team will include campaign manager Katherine Haenschen, long-time Austin fundraising consultant Susan Harry, and veteran Democratic consultants Mark Littlefield. Mike Blizzard will also serve as a consultant in a volunteer capacity.
“This is everybody’s Austin,” Shade said in a prepared statement on Monday. “I have the ability and willingness to help people from all parts of our community, regardless of the issue and regardless of the politics. I am running for re-election to continue to work hard to make Austin the best place it can be.”
Democratic and neighborhood activist Mike Clark-Madison will serve as treasurer of Riley’s re-election campaign. Longtime Austin political consultant David Butts will help lead the campaign, with support from fundraising consultant Susan Harry, who also worked for Riley’s 2009 campaign.
Asked what his goals for the next term would be, Riley told In Fact Daily, “We’ve got a lot of work to do on transportation. As you know, we hope to go to the voters in 2012 with another transportation bond proposal, including rail. We have to figure out what that transportation proposal is going to look like and how that is going to interface with the Capital Metro system.”
In addition, he said, “We have a tremendous amount of work to do with respect to Austin Energy – work on the generation plan and a rate case,” as well as other issues. Those other issues include the transfer formula, Riley said, alluding to the percentage of the utility’s profit that goes to the city’s general fund
“We have a lot of work going on around social service issues,” Riley said, “particularly as relates to the city’s homeless population.”
Morrison said she is anticipating running for re-election and expects a press release to go out today. Attorney Mark Perlmutter, who served as her treasurer during her campaign three years ago, has agreed to continue in that job. Shawn Badgley is field director, Jim Wick will be campaign manager and David Butts is her consultant. A check of Morrison’s last campaign finance statement in July indicated that she still owes herself almost $33,000 from her 2008 campaign.
As of Monday, no one had publicly announced that they are planning to run against any of the three Council incumbents in 2011.
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