Martin Houston, a Tuscaloosa businessman, pastor and National Championship winner, announced his campaign to become Tuscaloosa's next mayor Thursday afternoon outside his campaign headquarters on University Boulevard.

Houston, a native of Centre, Alabama, rushed for over 1,000 yard for the Alabama Crimson Tide and was a member of the 1992 National Championship squad under head coach Gene Stallings.

Houston signed with the Pittsburg Steelers to pursue an NFL career, but a 1993 knee injury ended those dreams and Houston settled in Tuscaloosa with his wife Cassandra. The couple has been married for 31 years and has four children and three grandchildren.

Houston currently serves as the Senior Director of Membership Growth at Alabama One Credit Union and as lead pastor at Harvest Church in Coker. He also hosts the Martin Houston Show on Tuscaloosa's Tide 100.9 sports talk radio station.

Stallings was in Tuscaloosa Tuesday to introduce Houston as he announced that he would challenge four-term incumbent mayor Walt Maddox and seek the city's highest office when voters head to the polls in March. Maddox confirmed he would seek re-election in November and officially qualified to do so Tuesday.

"Martin Houston is the right man for Tuscaloosa right now," Stallings said. "Martin Houston is a man who’s for all the people. He’s not going to play favorites.  What he will do is work with everyone in this community, for everyone’s benefit. He’ll work hard, and he’ll work honestly, and Tuscaloosa will be a better city with him as Mayor."

Houston said the primary planks in his campaign platform are transparency, inclusiveness, diversity and economic growth benefitting all residents of Tuscaloosa.

"As your next mayor, I want our city to be known as more than just the home of the University of Alabama and the greatest football program in the world," Houston said. "We need to be known as a great city. We all know we have potential in this city, and it's time for us to raise the bar. It's time to take Tuscaloosa from a good city to a great city."

Follow Houston's campaign on Facebook here, or check out his website

Editor's note: The Martin Houston Show airs every weekday on Tide 100.9, a Tuscaloosa radio station that is owned and operated by Townsquare Media, which is also the parent company of the Tuscaloosa Thread. We want to acknowledge this from the outset and guarantee our readers that Houston will be shown no favoritism and will receive no news coverage or advertising space that is not also made available for all other candidates seeking the mayor's office.

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