Update (4:48 p.m.)

As of Wednesday afternoon, Powell has officially filed for a place on the ballot, according to city of Amarillo officials.

Original Story:

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – Freda Powell, the current Place 2 member of the Amarillo City Council, announced Wednesday that she plans to run for Mayor in the May 2023 election. 

This comes after Powell has served on the Amarillo City Council as the Place 2 representative since 2017. According to previous reports by MyHighPlains.com, Powell was reelected to the position in May 2021, receiving 56.72% of the vote. During her term on the Amarillo City Council, Powell has served on various committees and served as Mayor Pro-Tem. 

“I am well-prepared to be Amarillo’s next mayor,” said Powell in a statement regarding her announcement, “In May, I will have served six years on the City Council. During that time, I have been appointed for 32 months as Mayor Pro Tem, handling the mayor’s duties when she was not available.”

Powell also cited serving with groups such as Downtown Amarillo, Inc. among her credentials, and listed a number of values and priorities that she said would guide her leadership, including focuses on safety, business and finances, and neighborhood revitalization.

“We need to do two things at once – take care of what we have and build toward a prosperous future. We can – and must – do both,” Powell said, “Our children and grandchildren deserve to inherit from us a vibrant and thriving city where they have opportunities to make a good living, to sustain their families and to enjoy life here.”

During her announcement, Powell said she was thankful for her six years on the Amarillo City Council, which she believes would help her if she was elected as Amarillo Mayor.

“During these years, I’ve made a diligent effort to represent you well, by understanding the complex issues and operations of the city, which there are many,” Powell said. “…What I’ve learned these last six years is that the essential role of the Mayor is to plan and set a vision and direction for the city, to promote a healthy, organizational, core culture, to establish clear lines of responsibility and, if elected, to hold myself and others accountable.”

Powell’s announcement comes on Wednesday, the first day city of Amarillo residents are able to file for a spot on the May 2023 Election Ballot for a City Council seat or for the Mayor position. According to previous reports by MyHighPlains.com, multiple people have announced their intention to run for various city of Amarillo positions, including: 

  • Hobert “Gunny” Brown – intention to run for Place 4;
  • Tom Scherlen – intention to run for Place 3;
  • Don Tipps – intention to run for Place 2;
  • Tonya Winston – intention to run for Amarillo Mayor.

A few of of the individuals who served with Powell in city of Amarillo leadership, including current Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson, along with current Amarillo City Councilmembers Eddy Sauer and Howard Smith, have also announced their intentions to not run for reelection for their positions. 

After the conference, Powell told MyHighPlains.com that she made the decision to run for the position after Nelson announced that she was not running again.

“I wanted to respect her decision,” Powell said. “We have worked well together over the years and so when she announced that she was not going to run, I knew that that was my calling and I was ready to step up and I’m ready to take this job.”

Powell said that working with these members, and being on the council with them for six years, has helped her learn many things. If Powell is elected Mayor, she said she would continue the momentum of this current council and continue to get things done within the city of Amarillo, despite some citizens calling for a needed change to city leadership.

“I’m the same person day in, and day out, so I like stability,” Powell said. “I don’t like a lot of chaos. I like for us to be productive. I respect those citizens who may have the loudest voice or the loudest noise. I respect them and I want to listen to them as well.”

Overall, Powell’s goal through this campaign is to bring the community together.

“We need to be united,” she said. “We need to be focused. We need to be on the same page, moving in the same direction… in order for us to solve problems. There’s always going to be problems, but we need to come to the table to sit down to be able to solve those problems and do it together.”

According to previous reports, filing for a place on the May 2023 ballot is scheduled to end at 5 p.m. on Feb. 17. The last day for residents to register to vote in this election is April 6.