While nearly the entire composition of the Amarillo City Council has announced re-election bids, or made moves toward announcing a re-election bid, one key member has not made any public moves toward 2019.
As of Thursday afternoon, Councilwoman Elaine Hays remains the only member of the Amarillo City Council without a publicly announced event planned regarding a “campaign announcement.” Three members of the Amarillo City Council - Ginger Nelson, Eddy Sauer, and Howard Smith - have officially announced re-election bids, while Councilwoman Freda Powell has an announcement planned next week where she is expected to announce a re-election bid.
Hays, a financial planner, was elected to the Amarillo City Council in 2017, ousting then-incumbent Councilman and former Potter County judge, Elisha L. Demerson. In that race, Hays benefited from generous spending by Amarillo Matters, a political action committee tied to downtown investors, but won by the narrowest margin of the five successful members elected to the Council. Prior to winning a term on the City Council, Hays ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2014.
If Hays announces a bid for re-election, she will come into the race already facing a challenger. Hayden Pedigo, a local musician and viral video star, is running for Place 1. Pedigo has released a number of campaign videos featuring him performing stunts and engaging in various shenanigans around Amarillo. Some of Pedigo’s videos have achieved over 100,000 views on social media and have been featured on national television.
Filing for the elections begins in January and runs for a month. The election will be held in May 2019.