Claudette Smith has announced her intention to run for mayor next year.
On Tuesday, Smith, an Amarillo paralegal and activist, announced during the City Council’s meeting that she will run against incumbent Mayor Ginger Nelson in the 2019 municipal elections. Smith is the first of an expected crowd of candidates to announce a bid against Nelson.
In an interview with the Amarillo Pioneer, Smith said she is “thankful” for Nelson’s service to Amarillo, but said she decided to run after being disappointed in the City Council’s actions.
“I wholeheartedly disagree with what they are doing,” Smith said.
Smith made headlines earlier this year after filing a lawsuit against the Amarillo City Council, which alleged violations of the Texas Open Meetings Act. Smith is also suing the City to seek an injunction to temporarily stop construction on the downtown ballpark. The newly minted candidate says she has no plans to drop either lawsuit ahead of the elections.
The entry by Smith into the race marks the first official candidate to challenge Nelson in 2019. A number of other candidates have also expressed interest in running against the first-term mayor.
Filing for the office begins in January. Election day is in May 2019.