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Greg Casar says he's likely running for Congress

Council Member Greg Casar is shifting his focus to the possibility of running for Congress. (Greg Casar)

On the heels of Rep. Lloyd Doggett announcing a run for the new District 37 congressional seat, Council Member Greg Casar says he is likely to run for the District 35 seat that Doggett currently represents.

In a release on Tuesday morning, the council member representing Northeast Austin said he has launched an exploratory committee for District 35, consisting of elected officials, labor leaders, organizers and advocates from throughout the district.

"We can win better jobs, a clean planet and an end to the Republicans' discriminatory laws. We can make the world a better place if we fight for it. If we organize for it. That's why I'm considering running for Congress–to fight for working-class and everyday Texans."

The new congressional map, redrawn every 10 years by state lawmakers, was just finalized and sent to Gov. Greg Abbott's desk Tuesday morning. Texas gained two new seats in the U.S. House of Representatives due to a population boom driven by the Hispanic population; one of the new seats was allocated to Austin, which Doggett announced candidacy for.

Casar would still be representing part of East Austin if he officially puts a bid in. District 35 runs from East Austin down I-35 to San Antonio. He was previously rumored to continue his political career in some way, with some thinking he would run for mayor.

Casar has been the frontman for City Council and has championed progressive policy in his time. He's been a leader against immigrant families being separated, ending personal marijuana tickets and arrests, and doubling the minimum wage for city employees.

He's also notably been part of cutting police funds to provide other resources to the community and advocating against a homeless camping ban. While some argue he is a divisive member of council, he won his third term earlier this year by a landslide.

In his potential run for Congress, he has City Council Members Vanessa Fuentes, Sabino "Pio" Renteria, Ann Kitchen, and Paige Ellis; Mayor Steve Adler and Mayor Pro Tem Natasha Harper-Madison; District Attorney José Garza and County Attorney Delia Garza; multiple Hays and Bexar County leaders; and community leaders Chas Moore, Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette and Wendy Davis behind him.

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