Former Chronicle Editor Joins Flannigan’s Staff

Finally, someone with some actual credentials in public office!

Kate Messer (Photo by Jana Birchum)

New council members beget new council staff. Friday's swearing in of new District 6 representative Jimmy Flannigan signals the official hiring of former Chronicle senior editor Kate Messer (along with fellow staffers Marti Bier, Ceci Gratias, Taylor Smith, and Lizzy Carol). Messer tells the Chronicle she'll serve as Flannigan's communications director. That makes Bier, who once worked under former Council Member Randi Shade, the office's chief of staff. Gratias, previously the executive director of the Austin Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, will be Flannigan's constituent relations director. Carol will work as support staff for constituent relations and communications, while Smith takes over as senior policy adviser. (Smith most recently worked for ousted D10 CM Sheri Gallo.)

Messer is not the first Chronicle alum to jump to politics. Former News Managing Editor Amy Smith currently works as chief of staff for Leslie Pool in D7; Pool's policy adviser is none other than Louisa Brins­made, a Politics editor from the Nineties. Daryl Slusher, Brinsmade's predecessor at the paper, was elected to City Council in 1996 and served several terms. Former News writers Rachel Proctor May and Katherine Gregor also served on city staffs. Mike Clark-Madison served on the Library Commission while on staff at the paper.

Alison Alter, newly sworn in to District 10, has reportedly not hired any staff quite yet. Even the guy who answered her phone at City Hall said he was temporary.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Kate Messer
Inside the Austin History Center’s LGBTQ Collections
Inside the Austin History Center’s LGBTQ Collections
The city’s historical archive shines a light on lesser-told stories

Beth Sullivan, Aug. 9, 2019

Qmmunity: 50 Years Queer History
Qmmunity: 50 Years Queer History
Everything you need to know to make the best of Pride Weekend

Sarah Marloff, Aug. 9, 2019

More by Sarah Marloff
Tales From Early Voting and More Before the July 14 Election
Tales From Early Voting and More Before the July 14 Election
Last-minute jostling before election day

July 10, 2020

A Question of Compassion for Travis County's Family Violence Court
A Question of Compassion for Travis County's Family Violence Court
A woman alleged rape. The man she accused went free. Should his attorney run our court?

June 19, 2020


Kate Messer, Jimmy Flannigan, Taylor Smith, Lizzy Carol, Ceci Gratias, Marti Bier, Sheri Gallo, Leslie Pool, Amy Smith, Louisa Brinsmade, Daryl Slusher, Rachel Proctor, Katherine Gregor, Mike Clark-Madison

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle