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Two candidates sign on for City Council races

Tuesday, May 10, 2022 by Jo Clifton

District 1 Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison is hosting her reelection kickoff party at Mr. Catfish, 1144 Airport Blvd., at 5:30 p.m. tonight. Harper-Madison was first elected to the northeast Austin seat in 2018. So far, her only announced opponent is Clinton Rarey, a political unknown. His wife, Christina, is listed as his campaign treasurer.

Christina Rarey, whose Twitter handle is @DutchGirlsGrow, says her husband’s two Twitter accounts have been “permanently banned for harassment.”  Twitter will permanently suspend a user’s account for “abusive behavior, like sending threats to others.”

Update: Though Rarey’s campaign account was suspended, it has now been restored. His personal account remains suspended.

There is also a new official candidate for mayor, Gary Spellman, the owner of Ultimate Face Cosmetics. When Spellman filed his designation of campaign treasurer on April 15, he put in a mailing address in Round Rock. When we asked Spellman whether he lives in Round Rock or Austin, he said he has lived in Austin for 20 years. However, he said he was following the directions given to him for the treasurer form, which said not to use a home address, and that he would look into fixing it. Austin City Code requires candidates for mayor to have lived in the city for at least six months prior to the filing deadline. This year that deadline is Aug. 22.

Spellman joins former Mayor Kirk Watson, State Rep. Celia Israel, Council Member Kathie Tovo and Jennifer Virden, who ran unsuccessfully against Council Member Alison Alter in 2020. It’s usually a very expensive race, but Spellman said he has sufficient funds to refuse to take donations. He said any donations he does receive would be given to charity.

The Austin Monitor’s work is made possible by donations from the community. Though our reporting covers donors from time to time, we are careful to keep business and editorial efforts separate while maintaining transparency. A complete list of donors is available here, and our code of ethics is explained here. This story has been changed since publication to clarify Christina Rarey’s tweet.

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