Business man vows global reach for city
By Theodore Schleifer
Updated 9:09 pm, Thursday, March 5, 2015
Private equity executive Marty McVey said Thursday he would reinvigorate Houston's international business ties if voters elected him mayor this fall.
McVey said at the formal launch of his campaign he would usher in a new era of international investment in Houston, which he pledged to make a "visionary city."
"We have to take Houston to the world. The world has always come to Houston," McVey said at Mr. Peeples, a restaurant in Midtown. "It is now time that we take our place on the international stage."
The White House in 2011 appointed McVey, who has donated to many Democratic political campaigns, to an advisory board for the United States Agency for International Development.
McVey said that economic development stimulated by international trade would bring in the dollars to allow the city to address its most pressing problems.
"We don't have the ability to fix the potholes and fix the pensions because the city doesn't have the revenue to do so," McVey said.
McVey said he would bolster the city's economic development office and recruit international businesses to Houston, adding that he drew policy inspiration from former Gov. Rick Perry.
He will nevertheless face tall odds in a crowded mayoral field where nearly every other candidate has held elected office. McVey, 41, has never run for political office before, and starts the campaign with very little name identification.
McVey said in an interview that his business background separates him from pack, arguing that he is not a "career politician."
"I'm a viable alternative to what they've seen in the past 25 years," McVey said. "I am battle-tested. I have scars from the setbacks that I've had in business and I've been very successful in other areas. But we don't quit."
McVey became the fourth candidate to formally launch his bid, following former Congressman Chris Bell, Rep. Sylvester Turner and former Chronicle columnist Bill King, The other half-dozen candidates expected to round out the field will likely kick off their bids later this month.
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