Former Des Moines City Councilmember Anthony Martinelli (2019 – 2022) on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022 announced to The Waterland Blog that he will run for the same position that he previously held (Position #6) in the 2023 election.

Martinelli resigned in January, 2022, due to controversy over allegations of domestic violence against former partners. He was replaced by former councilmember Vic Pennington, who was appointed by council in March, 2022, and whose term expires Dec. 31, 2023.

Candidates aren’t required to file for elections until mid-May, 2023, so announcing this early is somewhat unusual.

“I stand proudly behind my record as a councilmember, which includes passing numerous proposals and helping to allocate millions of dollars to residents and businesses during an unprecedented pandemic,” Marintelli said in a press release. “I’m running because the city needs more independent voices on the council, more elected officials willing to actually listen to and engage with their constituents, and more leaders willing to stand as a check to the current city leadership.”

Here’s more from Martinelli’s press release:

Despite often being at odds with the council’s majority and city administration, and despite being elected as the youngest councilmember in city history (he was 29-years-old when sworn in on December, 2019), Martinelli said he was able to get several of his proposals passed by the full council, including:

    • A police body camera program
    • A resolution establishing racism as a public health crisis
    • Two separate business grant programs totaling over $1 million
    • A utility voucher program to help residents who got behind on their utilities due to the COVID 19 pandemic
    • Rental assistance for individuals and families
    • A mental health co-responder field team

Martinelli resigned in 2022 after being charged with domestic violence by Des Moines Prosecutor Tara Vaughn (who recused herself only after filing the charges). Although he adamantly denied the accusations, he stepped down from his position on the council in January because the situation had become “a distraction to the city I love.” Martinelli, as well as the alleged victim (now his fiancée), stated from the beginning that the charges were not true in the slightest (they were found to be based entirely on edited text messages sent in a Word document by his fiancée’s mother). Martinelli and his attorney reached a deal with the court to have all the charges dropped with no admission of guilt. Martinelli calls this deal “vindication”, and says he won’t make any further comments on the matter but will rather point people to a recent letter to the editor he authored explaining his side of the story.

“I’m confident that voters will examine the situation for themselves and realize that the allegations have no solid basis in reality, and thus I should be judged on my record as a councilmember, my desire to listen to and help my constituents and my deep history of volunteerism and working relentlessly to help our city,” Martinelli added. “If voters decide that they do not want me back on the council, I will fully and unequivocally respect their decision.”

Prior to serving on the council, Martinelli – a father of three – spent years working as a campaign manager and advisor to several elected officials and nonprofit organizations including King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove. In 2011 Martinelli co-founded a successful business which he operated until 2019 when he sold it to an investment group prior to running for council.

Martinelli, who was born in Florida, moved with his family to Des Moines over 20 years ago when he was 11. He graduated from Mt. Rainier High School, took classes at Highline College (then called Highline Community College) and studied environmental science and journalism at the Evergreen State College. Among his notable achievements is obtaining a black belt from the World Taekwondo Federation and registering over 2,500 people to vote in King County alone.

Martinelli says he will launch an official website along with official social media pages in January.

Read our previous coverage of Martinelli, including Letters to the Editor, here.

11 replies on “Former Councilmember Anthony Martinelli announces 2023 run for Des Moines City Council”

  1. This is great news. takes incredible courage to brush all of the nonsense aside and say I’m going to stand up and help the community anyway. You did soooo much during your 2 years.

  2. Well this is interesting. He should ateast be heard out. Innocent until the proven guilty and he was not proven guilty of anything.

  3. We’ll be ready to remind everyone of what the outcome of his charges, jail time and judgement were/are. Also about his probation. His landlord should be in support of him not being able to stiff anyone else on rent.

  4. He has dv with three different women..just because the one he is still with him and is defending him…which makes her an active participant in the abuse and it doesn’t count. Intensive counseling is needed for a tiger to change their stripes. He is clearly a narcissist and smoking too much wacky weed to think we need someone like him on council. Someone above claimed he “did great things” while on council….Weinstein and Epstein did great things in their life too, you can’t put lipstick on a pig and call it pretty.

    1. carri youre still upset he beat your buddy Rob Back I see. he doesn’t have DV with three different women he had charges with one that were found to be completely false and two of his exes made accusations and they had plenty of ulterior motives to do so especially since she cheated on one for the other back when he was a teenager. 3 of his other partners including his current one all that came after them have praised him and said they do not believe the accusations to be true. I personally I’m excited he’s running and a couple people I’ve spoken to feel the same.

      1. 100 vote spread doesn’t qualify as handily. Actually pretty sad when you consider how people felt about Back

      2. I also congratulated him on his win and hoped he did well for our city…I don’t hold grudges but the same crap I called him on is still rearing it’s ugly head. Look at his criminal record. I called him out on it when he ran against Rob…it is what is..denying it doesn’t make it a fact. I know he said “my brother used my name” there are legal ways to fix that kind of stuff 😉

  5. Mr. Martinelli did good work when he served our of City of Des Moines. His goals were always resident oriented and was always approachable, always receptive to the needs of the residents. We are familiar with his community volunteerism & work with Dave Upthegrove who we support as well. I believe, same reporter who seemed to have issues with Martinelli tried same tactics with Upthegrove when Dave was running for re-election. If Martinelli runs, we will support him. You know what they say, “If You Repeat A Lie Often Enough It Becomes Politics”

    1. Liz you stated: “You know what they say, ‘If You Repeat A Lie Often Enough It Becomes Politics'”.
      Isn’t that kind of what Martinelli, and his supporters, are doing by repeatedly saying he is innocent?

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