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Austin Rep. Mark Strama Resigns to Run Google Fiber Rollout (Update)

Spencer Selvidge via Texas Tribune

Update: Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced a special election to fill the State House of Representatives seat formerly held by Austin State Rep. Mark Strama will be held Nov. 5.

Strama resigned late last month to become the head of Google Fiber in Austin. The person elected will serve out the rest of Strama’s term – which expires in January 2015.

Original Story (June 26): Democratic Austin State Representative Mark Strama is leaving politics to become the head of Google Fiber in Austin.

Strama announced earlier this year that he’d be resigning his seat in the Texas House. At the time, he was considering running for Austin mayor.

Strama was first elected to the Texas legislature in 2004. His term was set to expire next year.

Google announced in April that it’s bringingGoogle Fiber to Austin. The ultra-fast internet service is expected to be available to customers starting in mid 2014.

Strama says he is "pretty pumped" to start working on what he says will "unleash uses of the internet none of us had previously contemplated." 

Not only will the change allow him to eat dinner with his family, something he calls important, but Strama says his work at Google Fiber "has the potential to be as impactful, as transformative, as anything [he] could hope to achieve in the public sector."

Of his time in office, Strama admits that while being a Democrat in Texas has its disappointments, he ultimately believes the misrepresentation of voters in their government is due to the political system and not the politicians. 

"Despite the systemic obstacles they face, the politicians I observe every day, up close and personal, are almost universally people with honorable intentions who endeavor to do what they think is right," Strama said in a statement.

Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. Laura came to KUT from the world of television news. She has worn many different hats as an anchor, reporter and producer at TV stations in Austin, Amarillo and Toledo, OH. Laura is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, a triathlete and enjoys travel, film and a good beer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and pets.
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