AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — On May 6, Amarillo voters will be able to elect four new people to the Amarillo City Council, after the individuals on the current council chose to run for another position, or not run altogether.
Unlike the Place One candidates, where seven individuals are vying for the spot, only three candidates applied to run for Place Two on the city of Amarillo’s City Council. This comes after the current Place Two council member, Freda Powell, chose to run for the mayoral seat in this election. None of the candidates running for this particular place have been previously elected to the Amarillo City Council.
MyHighPlains.com spoke with each of the candidates who are actively running for the Place Two seat on the Amarillo City Council. Each of the candidates spoke about their priorities, why they decided to run for the position and their aspirations for Amarillo if they are elected for the seat.
The list of the candidates in this article is based on how the candidates will be listed on the May 2023 election ballot.
As a lifelong resident of Amarillo, Don Tipps, a Place Two candidate for the Amarillo City Council, said he felt like it was time for him to step up and run for public office.
While he has not been involved in city politics before, Tipps said he started paying attention to how the city runs during the COVID-19 pandemic and after the Amarillo City Council’s vote on the anticipation notes for the Amarillo Civic Center Complex. According to previous reports by MyHighPlains.com, Tipps testified during the October 2022 trial surrounding the Civic Center, stating his intention to run for City Council.
As a business owner, Tipps compared Amarillo to running a $500 million business, stating that his experience operating a budget would be beneficial in that case. In his campaign, Tipps is focusing on “foundational” needs, including infrastructure, water, streets, sewers and public safety. Tipps also stressed the importance of having two-way communication between the council and the community.
Ultimately, Tipps encouraged Amarillo residents to get out and vote, educating themselves on the issues in the process.
Misty Vigil, a Place Two candidate for the Amarillo City Council, said that she entered the race with the goal of having more diverse representation on the council. Vigil said she feels like people are not being heard, and hopes to be a voice for the Amarillo residents on the council.
Vigil, who works with businesses as well as in local schools, said one of the main issues she is running on is prioritizing getting more revenue into the city of Amarillo. Vigil said she hopes to relieve some monetary burden off of the local taxpayers.
When asked about the other two candidates running for Place Two, Vigil said that she goes to church with the other two candidates. Vigil said she stands out because she wants what is best for the city, and for the people of the city. But she stressed that no matter who is elected to Place Two, there is going to be great representation on the Amarillo City Council.
Gabriel McHenry-Herrera, a Place Two candidate for the Amarillo City Council, said that as a younger person, he can bring a different perspective to the city council if he is elected.
Ultimately, McHenry-Herrera said he chose to run after the Civic Center vote. He claimed that the previous council showed through that vote that they do not care about what the people want, road blocking and slowing down their ability to communicate their needs and opinions with the council.
As an Amarillo National Bank commercial bank teller, McHenry-Herrera said that he has the experience to connect with the public, which he said would apply to the city council position if he is elected.
In his campaign, he said that he is focusing on cleanliness, public safety and infrastructure. In his first term, McHenry-Herrera said that he wants the city to continue to bring in more business, lower the crime rate and fix infrastructure issues in a quicker manner.
For more information about what is on the ballot for the May 2023 election, check out the sample ballots for a number of counties right here. For a look at early voting locations in Potter and Randall counties, click here.
For more details and updates on the May 2023 election, check here:
- Sample ballots for Election Day on the HighPlains
- Potter, Randall counties report Early Voting numbers for May 2023 election
- MyHighPlains.com Voter Information Guide
- Meet the May 2023 candidates: Amarillo City Council Place One
- Meet the May 2023 candidates: Amarillo City Council Place Two
- Meet the May 2023 candidates: Amarillo City Council Place Three
- Meet the May 2023 candidates: Amarillo City Council Place Four
- Meet the May 2023 candidates: Amarillo Mayor
- Meet the May 2023 candidates: Amarillo College Board of Regents
- Meet the May 2023 candidates: Bushland ISD/Highland Park ISD School Boards
- Meet the May 2023 Candidates: Amarillo ISD School Board
- Meet the May 2023 Candidates: Canyon ISD School Board
- Election Day on the High Plains: Live Updates