UPDATE: Laura Says No; Mike Says Yes
In his press release, Martinez said he would begin his campaign with a "10-district kick-off tour," and said: “With an entirely new City Council, City Hall is going to be moving in a new direction. That’s why I believe Austin needs a leader with City Hall experience in the mayor’s office. As mayor, I will work with the new Council to ensure we hit the ground running and that geographic representation is successful and effective from day one."
Morrison's decision to speak out was in part a response, she said, to a recent online petition effort – www.draftLaura4mayor.com -- that as of Tuesday afternoon has garnered 96 signatures in support of its invocation, "Please run for Mayor of Austin," and praising Morrison's "love, commitment, experience, good judgment, hard work, and respect for Austin."
"I appreciate the encouragement I’ve gotten from a lot of people that I have a tremendous amount of respect for. It is beyond flattering and complimentary," Morrison told Smith. Earlier this year, she had told the Chronicle that she was "seriously considering" the question of running for mayor. Today she said, "Serving as a council member has definitely been the most rewarding professional experience I’ve ever had, and it’s been a privilege and an honor."
As to her future, Morrison said she isn't certain yet, but that she trusts "that I will serve and be involved in the community in some other fashion. It is a complete unknown. I will wait awhile and see how things sort out."
Currently, that means attorney Stephen Adler and Martinez are contesting the mayor's post. Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole has expressed potential interest in running, but has yet made no formal decision to declare. A call to Cole was not immediately returned (if we get anything later, we'll update).
For more on the new 10-1 City Council races, watch this space and the Chronicle's print edition.