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State Rep. Celia Israel, D-Austin, announced Wednesday she will not seek reelection and will instead explore a run for Austin mayor next year.
"The heartbeat of a city is people from all walks of life working together and learning from each other," Israel wrote on social media. "That's why I'm proud that the founding core of my exploratory committee is diverse, with a broad array of lived experiences."
Israel has represented House District 50 since 2014. The Austin-based district is safely Democratic, though its boundaries are likely to change before the 2022 election due to the redistricting process that is underway in the Legislature.
Israel has been an advocate for the LGBTQ community in the lower chamber, helping start the Texas House LGBTQ Caucus in 2019. She has also been outspoken about abortion rights, and she was one of the House Democrats who left the state in July to protest the Republican elections bill.
The Austin mayoral election is taking place at the same time as legislative races next year. Incumbent Mayor Steve Adler is term-limited, and Israel has been weighing a bid to succeed him, along with other potential candidates such as former state Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin.
Disclosure: Steve Adler, a former Texas Tribune board chair, has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here.
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