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Mike Martinez: 'We Feel Good'

Photo by Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

With a steady lead over challenger Laura Pressley, Austin City Council member Mike Martinez just declared victory.

The Place 2 incumbent just finished speaking to supporters minutes ago. KUT News spoke with Martinez shortly before his speech.

"We feel good, Martinez said. "The numbers are still coming in, but you have a ten point lead. We feel like we're on the path to re-election."

With an election recently concluded, it might seem counterintuitive Martinez would speak about yet another contest. But with low voter turnout this election – possibly the lowest turnout of any mayoral election, according to the Austin American-Statesman – Martinez spoke of the need to reform the way Austin holds its elections.

"It's very frustrating," Martinez said of the turnout. "My hope and my intention is that this is the last city election you'll see in May. I believe strongly that we should move to November. I also believe strongly that we should move away from an at large form of city government."  

What does he blame the turnout on? "It's part apathy – but its May," he says. "We're the only thing on the ballot; there's no other election right now. It is the highest price to the citizens for the lowest voter turnout. When it could be actually the opposite if we move to November, where it would be the lowest cost with the highest vote totals ever for a city election."  

Wells has been a part of KUT News since 2012, when he was hired as the station's first online reporter. He's currently the social media host and producer for Texas Standard, KUT's flagship news program. In between those gigs, he served as online editor for KUT, covering news in Austin, Central Texas and beyond.
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