Former Des Moines Councilmember Anthony Martinelli – who announced in August, 2022 that he would run again for council in 2023 after resigning in January, 2022 – has withdrawn from the 2023 election..

He said the reason for the decision is that his fiancée recently gave birth to twins.

“We found out she was pregnant not long after we made the decision to run for council,” Martinelli told The Waterland Blog. “With this in mind, after some deep and thoughtful discussions my partner and I have decided that my focus at the moment should be on our family, rather than running a political campaign. As much as I love Des Moines and desire to help its residents, my family and my five children are my top priority.”

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.

Although he adamantly denied the accusations, he stepped down from his position on the council last 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.

He hinted strongly though that he will likely run for council again in 2025.

Here’s more from Martinelli’s statement to The Waterland Blog:

“In August I announced that I would be running for Des Moines City Council this year in an attempt to give voters a stronger voice on the council. However, I’m excited and honored to announce that my fiancée recently gave birth to twins! We found out she was pregnant not long after we made the decision to run for council. 

“I’ve been humbled by the positive reaction and comments I’ve received since announcing my campaign, and I look forward to helping Des Moines and King County through other means including a planned 2025 run for council. Whatever comes of the next couple years, this certainly is not the end of my public service!”

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