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Longtime political activist Pat Crow dies

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 by Jo Clifton

Political organizer, consultant and Democratic activist Pat Crow passed away Monday at the home of her sister, Barbara Rush. She was 74. According to her friend and colleague David Butts, Crow’s professional consulting career began in 1982, when she became campaign manager for Justice of the Peace Debra Ravel. Prior to that she had worked as a financial manager at IBM. Butts said he and Crow began working together in 1983 to elect Sally Shipman to the City Council, and again for Shipman in 1985 and 1987. Crow also worked for numerous judge candidates, for state Rep. Glen Maxey, for Brigid Shea for City Council, and for Gus Garcia for City Council and for mayor. Rush wrote on her Facebook page, “Working alongside David Butts for over 25 years, Pat became one of (if not the most) Winningest Campaign Managers in Austin & Travis County. From 1982-2008 Pat won 27 out of 31 political campaigns, including important ballot initiatives: the Save Our Springs Ordinance in 1992; creation of the Healthcare District in 2004 and the Smoking Ban in 2005.” Crow was one of the founding members of the Texas Women’s Political Caucus, and Butts told the Austin Monitor that she was also the most successful president of the Austin Women’s Political Caucus. One of the people Crow mentored along the way was Heidi Gibbons, one of several dozen people who attended a gathering in Crow’s honor Monday night. Gibbons said Crow taught her and others how to do campaigns. “And she would say to the candidate, ‘You will go sit there and find for the next 15 minutes,’ to raise money. If you don’t raise money you don’t win. She trained many of us who are doing grassroots Democratic campaigns. She had the funniest laugh and I will always remember her voice.” Also among those attending Monday night’s party were Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo and Council Member Leslie Pool. Crow suffered a stroke in 2008, and then a very serious stroke during heart bypass surgery after that. She worked hard to recover from the second stroke, which initially left her unable to speak. Although she was later able to talk and laugh and enjoy her friends, she was not able to return to political consulting. Crow is survived by two of her three children, Marc and Elizabeth Childers, a number of other relatives, her sister, and many friends.

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