Leesburg Councilman Marty Martinez gathered with a crowd of friends and supporters in his backyard Sunday to formally kick off his re-election campaign.
Martinez is on the ballot in November for a fifth four-year council term. If re-elected and assuming he serves a full term, he could be in rare company achieving 20 years on the Town Council.
He noted that when he first ran 16 years ago, the vast majority of the council members were Republicans. He said he didn’t win because he was a Democrat but because voters appreciated the community service he’d put in over the years.
“With [Mayor] Kelly Burk and [former Mayor] Kristen Umstattd, we really had to fight as the majority to keep the Town of Leesburg a place where my children want to continue to live,” he said. “I want to continue to keep doing what we’re doing.”
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring and wife, Laura, also attended the campaign kickoff event, and voiced their support for Martinez.
Herring told those gathered that there are three reasons to re-elect Martinez: his experience, character and passion. He has 16 years on the council, as well as experience on several committees and commissions, including the county Parks, Recreation and Open Space Board, to which Herring appointed him when the now-attorney general was a county supervisor.
Speaking to Martinez’s character, Herring said the councilman is honest, hard-working and approachable. Speaking to Martinez’s passion, he spoke of Martinez’s volunteer work on the scouts and in the local schools.
“He has that passion for giving back to the community, right here in Leesburg,” Herring added. “Leesburg needs him to continue his great work for another four years.”
Martinez is joined by fellow incumbents Vice Mayor Suzanne Fox and Councilwoman Vanessa Maddox in vying for one of three council seats on the ballot in November. They are challenged by Neil Steinberg and Kari Nacy.