The mood of the readers of The Amarillo Pioneer has been unveiled in The Pioneer's February candidate straw poll.
The unscientific poll, which was conducted from February 20th to February 25th included candidates seeking the office of Amarillo Mayor, City Council, Amarillo College and Amarillo ISD Boards. The race which generated the most buzz was the Amarillo ISD Board of Trustees race, which netted about 137 total votes. 63 total respondents participated in the week long poll.
In the race for mayor, Potter County Republican Party chairman Jim Lowder narrowly won the poll, taking in 50 percent of the vote. Attorney Ginger Nelson netted 41 percent, while Renea Dauntes picked up the remaining 9 percent of the vote.
In the race for City Council Place 1, respondents chose newcomer Elaine Hays to replace incumbent Elisha Demerson. Hays, a financial advisor, picked up 53 percent to Demerson's 47 percent.
For Place 2, James Schenck was chosen as the winner by a healthier margin. Respondents chose the insurance provider over his opponent, Freda Powell, by a margin of 79 percent to 21 percent. Place 3 was also won by a healthy margin, with truck restoration shop owner Tom Warren II topping dentist Eddy Sauer, 87 percent to 13 percent.
City Council Place 4, which pits incumbent Mark Nair against realtor Howard Smith, produced a margin that is closer than what the incumbent may hope for. Poll respondents chose Nair over Smith by a margin of 61 percent to 39 percent.
In the race for AC Board of Regents, respondents chose Thomas Warren III, Danny South and Sandra Dunn as their favorites to the take the three open spots. The contenders won 49 percent, 14 percent and 8 percent, respectively. Incumbent Jay Barrett picked up 7 percent, while incumbent Michele Fortunato and former City Commissioner Daniel Martinez both netted 6 percent. Attorney Alfonso Zambrano won 4 percent, with investor Sally Jennings and former AC Regent Donald Nicholson rounding out the field with 3 percent and 2 percent.
For Amarillo ISD Board of Trustees, readers preferred to return incumbents James Allen, John Ben Blanchard, and Renee McCown to the board, while bringing in retired teacher Cristy Cooper Wilkinson to fill the fourth spot. In the poll, Allen led the pack with 30 percent, followed by Blanchard at 26 percent, Wilkinson at 17 percent, McCown at 14 percent and incumbent Eric Darnell at 14 percent.
The Amarillo Pioneer will run another straw poll in April, to reflect readers' feelings following several months of campaigning.
* The Amarillo Pioneer straw poll in not a scientific poll. Results are not meant to imply that any candidate would have a lead over their opponents in a scientific poll. Results are shown as tabulated by SurveyMonkey.