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John Suthers, left, comments on Lawrence Martinez's Broncos scarf after a campaign finance workshop for potential candidates in the 2015 election at City Hall Wednesday, January 7, 2015. Both Suthers and Martinez intend to run for mayor in April along with a handful of other candidates not present at the workshop. Wednesday was the first official day of the 2015 election season. Michael Ciaglo, The Gazette

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Lawrence Martinez is running to be mayor of Colorado Springs, but he's keeping a rather low profile.

Martinez has yet to file a campaign finance report with the Clerk and Recorder's Office for El Paso County.

"The people I represent can't afford to give me money," he noted. "They need it for milk."

He missed the Organization of Westside Neighbors candidate forum Feb. 24 because he had to work, but he attended Wednesday night's mayoral candidate debate and the first forum for mayoral aspirants Feb 19.

While he doesn't have as much money as other candidates, he told KOAA-TV he can get the youth vote for free by using social media.

Tuesday, he confirmed that he has no website, and his Facebook account is "down because we didn't want to over saturate. Now we're pushing forward."

Martinez, 53, has worked as a hospice home care specialist and said he now is a business consultant.

A Navajo, he serves on the Native American Advisory Council of El Pomar Foundation's Emerging Leaders Development Program.

The 30-year resident of Colorado Springs said he's been deeply involved in the community for 12 years, working with at-risk youth, and pushing for more education and job creation for young people.

"I want to represent those who have not the voice to come forward to say what their needs are - those 33 percent who need to choose between food, medicine and gas," he said in an earlier interview.

Martinez said he developed leadership skills through the Center for Creative Leadership, El Pomar Foundation programs and the Center for Nonprofit Excellence, among others. The programs and his community work have helped him to understand the needs of working-class residents, he said.

Martinez responded Wednesday night to earlier reports on court records showing his history of restraining orders.

He pleaded not guilty May 18, 2001, to violating a restraining order obtained by then-wife Matilda May Duran on May 7, 2001. She filed for divorce two weeks after getting the order.

In February 2002, Martinez pleaded guilty to violating the restraining order, and the court dropped a charge of harassment. He was sentenced to 24 months of probation, concluding Feb. 27, 2004.

In August 2008, Duran obtained another restraining order against him. It was vacated that November.

A restraining order, Martinez said, "is the easiest way to remove someone from the house. The court never looked at all the evidence I had. Restraining orders then were being handed out like candy.

"Both were temporary ones and then vacated."

As he left the stage after a mayoral forum at The Broadmoor on Wednesday night, Martinez was embraced by several supporters, including his daughters.

"I raised my children every other week," he said proudly, "and always pushed them with education."

Now when he sees a teenager wiping tables at McDonald's, he said, he pulls him aside and asks, "Why aren't you going to college?" - a first step toward steering youths in another direction.

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