On Tuesday, Austin voters elected lawyer Steve Adler their new mayor with almost 70 percent of the vote. Adler’s election in the runoff against city councilman Mike Martinez marks the end of a year-long contest about Austin’s future. The candidates framed the campaign around methods of preserving Austin’s livability, easing traffic congestion, fostering responsible economic growth, and ensuring environmental stewardship. Full results can be found here.
Adler, an eminent domain lawyer who attended UT Law and once served as chief of staff to lauded progressive Texas Senator Eliot Shapleigh, argued that his varied experience in law, business and politics best positions him to lead wise growth and solve problems in Austin.
“If there is a city that is positioned to get out ahead of poverty, and to get ahead of gentrification, it’s Austin, Texas.”
– Mayor-Elect Steve Adler on Election Night
Opponent councilman Mike Martinez, in his concession speech, offered a guess for why he lost and called for unity moving forward. “We may not have had as much money, but we had way more heart, way more grit,” Martinez said. “..First thing tomorrow I ask that all of you reach out to Steve Adler and tell him you want to help him be the best mayor he can be.” Adler raised over $1 million, a record, in addition to a $300,000 self-loan, while Martinez brought in just over $400,000 and lent himself $100,000.
Martinez is a former firefighter capping eight years of city council service, and he ran touting the middle class and his past efforts on behalf of issues like securing a local living wage. Adler positioned himself as a nontraditional candidate poised to rework City Hall and finally get a handle on rising real estate costs and traffic congestion, issues he accused the city council of failing to address adequately.
Watch Steve Adler’s victory speech: