A new Facebook site is urging one of Amarillo's City Councilmembers to step up to challenge the incumbent mayor in 2019.
On Monday, Howard Smith for Mayor 2019 began appearing on Facebook. In a post released early Monday morning, the page says that it is run by a "group of concerned citizens" who are supporting Smith for mayor. The group cites Smith's background and their displeasure with Mayor Ginger Nelson as reasons for calling for Smith to run for mayor.
"We are a concerned group of citizens who believe that there is only one hope to save this great city of Amarillo - Howard Smith," the page said in a post on Monday. "Howard is a businessman, a father, a husband, and the best realtor in town. Howard has shown calm and steady leadership whether closing the real estate deal for his clients; impacting the lives of our children at Amarillo ISD or setting the vision of this great city on the city council."
The page goes on to list Smith's government email address and asks supporters to email Smith and ask him to challenge Mayor Nelson for her seat during the next municipal election.
Smith is an Amarillo realtor and businessman who has served on the Amarillo City Council since May, 2017. Smith was elected to his first term on May 6, 2017, when he defeated incumbent Mark Nair, 71 percent to 29 percent. Smith benefited heavily from spending by realtor-based political action committees and Amarillo Matters PAC. Nelson was also a recipient of support by the Amarillo Association of REALTORS PAC and by Amarillo Matters.
Nelson will be eligible to seek another term in 2019, but has not yet announced whether she intends to run for a second term. Smith will also be eligible to seek a second term to his seat, although he has not yet announced whether he will do so.