This week, Amarillo voters will find out whether Mayor Ginger Nelson will be looking for another term next year.
On Wednesday, Nelson will host a campaign announcement at the La Fiesta Grande restaurant on 45th Avenue. The announcement is being billed as a chance for citizens to learn, “about where our city is headed and [the City Council’s] goals moving forward.” On the Facebook event created for the announcement, Nelson’s logo is shown, but no mention is made of whether she intends to run for re-election or to retire after one term.
Nelson was first elected in 2017, handily beating cybersecurity auditor James F. Lowder, II and photo archivist Renea Dauntes. Nelson led the fundraising game all the way through the 2017 campaign and won around 79 percent of the vote. Nelson replaced Mayor Paul Harpole, who was retiring. During her first term, Nelson has been the subject of scrutiny at several meetings, including some instances which made national headlines, such as an April 2018 meeting which saw a citizen arrested after failing to comply with an order given by Nelson.
If Nelson runs for re-election, she will be the first candidate to officially jump into the contest. Several speculative candidates have discussed running, but none have officially made the leap. Earlier this year, there were rumors that Councilman Howard Smith would challenge Nelson, although Smith later dispelled those rumors and has declared intentions to run for re-election to his seat.
As of today, Hayden Pedigo, Steven Rosas and Howard Smith have announced bids for the City Council. Pedigo and Rosas have not yet declared which seats they will seek.