Amarillo Mayoral Race: A look at the candidates

Amarillo Mayoral Race: A look at the candidates
Paul Harpole
Paul Harpole
Roy McDowell
Roy McDowell

Amarillo, TX - Incumbent Paul Harpole and Roy McDowell are vying to lead Amarillo as mayor.

This mayoral race comes at a time when many constituents are fired up about local issues like construction of the downtown multi-purpose event venue, commonly referred to as the ballpark.

"I'm chastised when I say ballpark because it is a multi-use event center with 150 nights of other events and only 50 nights of ball games," said Harpole. "It's a great entertainment area where we will keep people in our downtown and grow our youth to stay here and not have the brain drain we've had till now."

McDowell said his problem with the ballpark is that residents never voted on it. "We didn't get to vote on it, but I am going to make sure from here on out that people get to vote on all major issues. I'm considering putting the following issues on the ballot in November: red light cameras, hand-held cell phones, animal control and the drainage tax."

Another hot-button issue is the possibility of pet registration coming to Amarillo.

"It's like you have a group of five people saying we know what is best for you and here is what is going to happen," said McDowell. "If I'm elected, it's going to be reversed and the people are going to tell us what they want."

Harpole said the people's voice will be heard. "We will not take action on this until we are sure that it is right and until we are sure we are doing the right thing if it's an imposition on people or a tax. I for instance have a huge question about why you would do this every year. Those animals live for 10, 15 or 20 years. Why would you go back and register them every year? I have other questions as our council always does."

Both candidates agree on a need to decrease refugees coming to Amarillo and to increase police and firemen positions within the city.