Pasadena City Council member Margaret McAustin has announced she will not seek a fourth term in office in order to spend more time with her husband John, who is battling cancer.
“Although I have been intending to seek another term, my husband has recently begun medical treatment that has caused me to re-think my priorities,” McAustin said in a statement issued Tuesday morning. “The added pressures of a political campaign are simply not compatible with my desire to support my husband in his illness.”
In the statement, McAustin thanked her constituents for their support and kindness.
“I have loved representing you and serving our community. It has truly been an honor,” she said.
McAustin came to Pasadena almost 40 years ago and settled into the Historic Highlands landmark district, where she lives with John and their dog, Wrigley.
A real estate consultant by profession, McAustin served as a city planning commissioner from 1993 to 1997. In 1997, she was tapped to serve a second term on the commission, and the following year she was chosen to sit on the city’s Charter Reform Task Force, which recommended changes to the city charter that resulted in an elected mayor and an expanded school board.
McAustin defeated Jim Lomako in 2007 in a contentious election after Paul Little decided not to seek re-election to the council’s District 2 seat.
McAustin was elected the same year as then-District 1 Councilwoman Jacque Robinson, putting two women on the council. Robinson gave up her seat to run a failed bid for mayor in 2015, leaving McAustin as the only woman on the council, something she calls her sole regret.
“District 2 has many capable, committed residents — including a wealth of highly qualified women,” McAustin said. “I hope and believe that a woman will continue to represent us on the City Council.”
“Council member McAustin has served District 2 extremely well and I wish her and John the best,” said Felicia Williams, who announced her intentions to run against McAustin in February. “I thank her for being one of the amazing women to blaze the trail on the City Council.”