87th LegislatureLocal NewsState HouseAustin State Rep. Celia Israel Will Not Seek Re-Election as She Nears Bid for Mayor

Israel has been rumored to be mulling a run for Austin mayor in 2022, and this announcement brings her another step closer.
September 22, 2021
The Texas House will gain another open seat for the 2022 midterms after state Rep. Celia Israel (D-Austin) announced she would forgo re-election. Instead, she is launching an exploratory committee for a potential Austin mayoral campaign.

“The heartbeat of a city is people from all walks of life working together and learning from each other,” Israel said. “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 served in the state House since 2014 when she won a special election to replace the incumbent Mark Strama (D-Austin) who resigned to head up a project with Google. Since then, she has had no problem winning re-election cycle after cycle.

Among the most progressive members of the House, Israel was ranked the 11th most liberal member by Rice University’s Mark P. Jones’ post-session ratings. She is a member of the House LGBTQ Caucus and touts former Governor Ann Richards as her political mentor.

Israel was one of the nearly 60 House Democrats that broke quorum back in July, flying to Washington, D.C. to escape state law enforcement.

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The Austin representative, though, did return to the chamber for the end of the second special session and the start of the third special session that began this week.

Current Austin Mayor Steve Adler is term-limited in 2022 and multiple figures are eyeing the position. Israel has long been rumored to be considering running for the position and has now made the mull official.

None of the members on Israel’s exploratory committee are current Austin city council members.

Her announcement brings the House’s total of open seats to eight. Israel’s House seat is solidly blue, and the coming redistricting shows no signs of that changing.

Austin is currently reeling from a significant homicide increase, a persistent and growing homelessness problem, and a booming population trend paralleled by an equally booming cost of living.


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Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson is a senior reporter for The Texan and an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.