A look at candidates running for Amarillo mayor

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We are taking a closer look a the candidates who are running for Amarillo mayor. 

Our first candidate is Kip Billups. 

Billups served in our military. According to the Department of Defense, he served from November 1997 until May 2003. After that, Billups told us he became homeless in Los Angeles and was for 10 years. Then, he moved back to Amarillo and started Amarillo Brown Bag Runs. That organization delivers food to homeless people on the streets of Amarillo. When we last talked with Billups a couple of years ago, he said he was doing those runs twice a day. 

We invited Billups to come in and interview with us but he declined. 


Next is incumbent Mayor Ginger Nelson.

Mayor Nelson grew up in Spearman, went to Texas Tech and graduated with degrees in advertising, Spanish, and law. She and her husband, Kevin, own the Amarillo Building and their own law firm. They have been practicing law in Amarillo for more than 20 years. She has volunteered for non-profits and charities like the United Way and Kids Inc. Mayor Nelson was first elected two years ago. 

In addition to focusing on public safety and the civic center, she said she would be interested in adding more places to the city council and wants that effort to be citizen’s driven. 

Mayor Nelson’s full interview:

Claudette Smith is also running for Amarillo mayor. 

Smith moved to Amarillo at age five and has been here ever since. She attended both Amarillo College and West Texas A&M University. She owns some escape rooms in Amarillo. She said she has volunteered for many organizations, including the Guyon Saunders Resource Center, Salvation Army, and many others. 

One of the things Smith hopes to accomplish is replacing the Thompson Park Pool.

Claudette Smith’s full interview:

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