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Patsy Woods Martin announces for Mayor; others are waiting

Friday, January 24, 2014 by Jo Clifton

The founder of I Live Here, I Give Here, Patsy Woods Martin, announced late Thursday that she has officially thrown her hat in the ring to be the next Mayor of Austin. Trained as a chemist, Martin, 59, lists herself as a social entrepreneur, mother, wife and community leader.


Martin has worked as a legislative aide in the Texas Capitol, a job developer at the Austin Women’s Center and as Vice-President of the United Way for Central Texas. Last year she helps launch Amplify Austin, an online giving campaign.


She and her husband, Jack, have lived in Austin since 1975. Jack Martin founded the business advisory group Public Strategies. He is currently global CEO of Hill-Knowlton Strategies.


Campaign spokesman Glenn Smith said Martin would be doing a listening tour of Austin starting about mid-February. He said, “she wants to meet with small groups of people in neighborhoods and homes. . . (to hear) the unvarnished concerns from the people.”


Other candidates for Mayor have emerged but none has made an official announcement.


Steve Adler, a prominent eminent domain attorney, told the Austin Monitor last night, “I’m running.” When asked when he might make an official announcement, Adler indicated that he would be making that announcement very soon. Adler filed papers this week designating Eugene Sepulveda as his campaign treasurer.


Council Member Mike Martinez has made it clear that he intends to run for Mayor but last night he said he is being cautious because he wants to avoid running afoul of state law or the City Charter. He referenced a state law that prevents certain county officials, but may or may not apply to City Council members, from announcing for another office within 1 year and 30 days of the expiration of their term. His current term expires next Jan. 1.


More problematic, however, is the charter, which states that “An officeholder, a candidate for mayor or city council, or an officeholder’s or candidate’s committee may not solicit or accept a political contribution except during the last 180 days before an election for mayor or council member or in which an officeholder faces recall.” So, candidates may not seek contributions until May 4 but apparently they can spend their own funds whenever they wish.


Two other possible candidates for Mayor, Bill McLellan and Council Member Laura Morrison did not return a call requesting comment. Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole declined comment.

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