About the Author
Mike Kanin is the Publisher of the Austin Monitor. As such, he doesn't report on much--aside from the workings of the Monitor--any more. In his previous life as a freelance journalist, Kanin has written for the Washington City Paper, the Washington Post's Express, the Boston Herald, Boston's Weekly Dig, the Austin Chronicle, and the Texas Observer.
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Strama says current session to be his last in Texas Legislature
Thursday, February 21, 2013 by Michael Kanin
State Representative Mark Strama (D-Austin) announced Wednesday that he will not seek a sixth term in that office. The news came as part of an entry posted on his Inside the Rail Texas blog.
There, Strama also directly addressed growing speculation about his next move. “I know you’re all assuming this means I’m running for mayor of
In his statement, Strama wrote that he and his wife Crystal Cotti decided that he would not run for state representative again before the start of the latest legislative session. He noted that “the norm around here is that you don’t announce that you’re not coming back too early, because lame-duck status can reduce your effectiveness.”
Strama wrote that “the biggest reason” he decided against another state house campaign was “that there are a bunch of really talented folks interested in running to replace me, and I want them to be able to start introducing themselves to voters without having to tap dance around me.”
By all appearances, he’ll get his wish. The list of parties interested in Strama’s seat includes attorney and City of Austin Associate Municipal Court Judge Ramey Ko and well known community affairs consultant Celia Israel.
Ko did not return calls seeking a comment on Wednesday but friends indicate that he is considering the race.
She said that she had thought about running for Strama’s seat for two years. “I would be honored to serve as the next state rep for District 50,” she said, careful to note that she has plenty of respect for Strama.
The vice chair of the city’s Zero Waste Advisory Commission and current Travis County prosecutor Rick Cofer has also been mentioned. Cofer, however, was quick to refute that notion.
“I am not (running),” he told In Fact Daily. “I am very happy doing what I am doing.”
Cofer, who once roomed with Ko, was frank about where his loyalties rest. “I am looking forward to writing a check out to Ramey Ko,” he continued.
Strama’s announcement furthers what has been an early start to campaign season in and around
The field for Austin Mayor could be crowded. Indeed, at least three sitting Council members – Laura Morrison, Mike Martinez, and Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole – have been connected with a potential run.
Strama continued to insist that his mayoral ambitions really are in question. “I am thinking about running for mayor, but I’m also thinking about a lot of cool things I could do in the private sector once I’m freed up full time again,” he wrote. “I’ve done a lot of work on renewable energy and on education technology, and both are areas where I believe I might have a greater impact through private entrepreneurship than I’m able to have in government.”
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