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Elizabeth Pagano is the editor of the Austin Monitor.
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Shade launches re-election campaign
Wednesday, January 12, 2011 by Elizabeth Pagano
A varied group of Austinites showed up to help launch Council Member Randi Shade’s campaign for re-election last night. Political insiders, neighbors, and people who had always wanted to see the inside of Mercury Hall were among those who braved freezing temperatures to witness the first official event of the campaign season.
Spotted at the party were Council Members Sheryl Cole and Chris Riley and Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez. Mayor Lee Leffingwell was a featured speaker.
Leffingwell was emphatic in his support of Shade. “I can’t tell you how important it is to the City of Austin, and how important it is to me personally, that we re-elect Randi Shade to a second term of the City Council,” said Leffingwell.
“Trust is the coin of the realm,” said Leffingwell. “You have to work with people that you can trust and who trust you, and certainly I trust Randi Shade as one of my closest friends and colleagues.”
Perhaps due to how early in the campaign season it is, or perhaps due to the fact that Shade is currently running unopposed, the mood of the gathering was upbeat and the speeches were vague. There were, however, intimations of debates to come. Both Shade and Leffingwell referenced Shade’s crucial fourth vote in favor of building Water Treatment Plant 4.
“We’ve worked together on a lot of really big things,” said the mayor, including securing “a safe abundant supply of water for the city of Austin for the next hundred years. Hopefully we have that behind us now. It could not have happened without Randi’s strong, unwavering support.”
Shade also spoke about her friendships with Riley, Martinez, and Leffingwell. She went on to thank a wide range of people, emphasizing that she cares as much about outsiders as insiders. Cole arrived after the speeches had ended so her name was not mentioned.
“My priorities that I ran on last time are still my same priorities,” said Shade. “But I have learned a lot in these couple years, and I want a second term because I want to keep doing what I’m doing and get better at it.”
When asked by In Fact Daily what she feels will be the most important issue in the upcoming election, Shade cited the economy.
“I think that we are coming out of one of the most challenging times in United States history in term of economics, and Austin has fared very well,” said Shade. “I’m certainly concerned about what this legislative session has in store and what that’s going to mean for the economic conditions of Austin.”
Her concerns about the upcoming campaign, meanwhile, were more personal.
“Well, there’s just never enough time in the day to address all of the issues and to really make a meaningful impact on the things that I want to make an impact on,” she said. “So clearly the campaign is a great time to get out and talk to citizens about issues and concerns, but also it takes some time away from getting things done at City Hall.”
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