It’s gearing up to be a busy political season. May will be a critical election for the City with the Mayor and all four City Council positions up for election. Here’s a quick rundown of how the races are shaping up.
Mayor Ginger Nelson and City Council members Howard Smith and Eddy Sauer have announced they will not be seeking reelection. In a recent statement, Smith said, “I am so grateful for the tremendous support I’ve received over the past six years and have truly enjoyed serving our community.” Smith noted that during his tenure, the Council oversaw the completion of the Embassy Suites Hotel and the downtown parking garage, negotiated a deal to keep the world headquarters of the American Quarter Horse Association in Amarillo, along with numerous other accomplishments. In a Facebook post, Sauer said, “I am so grateful and humbled by the citizens of Amarillo who have given me the opportunity to serve in this capacity. It is truly one of the highlights of my life.”
We reached out to Council Member Cole Stanley to check on his plans. Stanley said, “As of right now, I am committed to run again and I’m content with another Place 1 run. However, I haven’t ruled out the possibility of a Mayoral campaign. I’m wrestling with the additional time and energies needed to fully commit to that position. I hope to have confirmation on my plans soon, but it’s a slow process.” Freda Powell has made no official comment regarding her plans for 2023 as of yet.
While filing doesn’t begin until January 18, new candidates have started filing what’s called an “appointment of treasurer form,” which allows them to start raising money and begin their campaigns. According to records from the City, Don Tipps, Les Simpson, Kathryn Massey, Tonya “Lady Butterscotch” Winston, Tom Scherlen, and Hobert “Gunny” Brown have all filed that form which allows them to begin their campaigns.
According to a social media post, Tipps will run for Place 2, which is currently held by Powell. Brown indicated he’ll seek Place 4, which is the seat being vacated by Howard Smith. Tom Scherlen will seek Place 3, which is being vacated by Eddy Sauer.
January 18 is the first day to officially file for a place on the ballot. You can visit the City’s website for more information on the election process.
Regardless of who you might support, we hope you’ll go ahead and make sure you’re registered to vote in the election. The election will be held on May 6 with early voting beginning on April 24.