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Nathan White ready to challenge Kitchen

Wednesday, August 8, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Nathan White, a newcomer to Austin politics, is preparing to run for the District 5 seat against incumbent Council Member Ann Kitchen. White, 26, works as an administrative assistant at Girling Health Care and also drives for Uber and Lyft. He told the Austin Monitor, “I’m definitely a working-class guy.” White said after the 2016 presidential election he “really re-evaluated the ways I might be able to impact politics.” Looking at different positions that might be available, he said, it seemed like City Council was a good place to start. White said his primary focus, if elected, would be to raise the minimum wage in Austin to $15 an hour. Coincidentally, City Manager Spencer Cronk announced on Monday that the new budget includes a minimum wage raise for all city employees, whether full-time or part-time, to $15 starting in the new fiscal year. White said he had heard that under state law Austin could not raise the minimum wage. However, he said he had not seen the statute and he thought that it would still be appropriate for Austin to try to do that. Austin and other Texas cities are precluded from setting a minimum wage by the Texas Minimum Wage Act but White said that it is so important that he will keep pushing for it. White also signed the pledge not to accept or spend more than $500 for his campaign and said that he thought there was too much money in politics. Although the mayor’s race and races for other Council seats have multiple candidates, White is Kitchen’s only challenger so far.

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