Let’s focus for a moment on two individuals who might run against each other to become mayor of Amarillo.
One of them is Elisha Demerson, a member of the Amarillo City Council who is generating some community chatter about his apparent desire to be mayor. He might have a decision to make, given the announcement that came this week from the other individual I want to discuss.
That would be Ginger Nelson, who has announced her mayoral candidacy. Nelson is quitting her post on the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation to focus entirely on running for mayor.
Nelson also is producing a lot of buzz around the city. The business community appears to be rallying behind her. A banker friend of mine told me today that Nelson is the real deal: “She’s articulate, smart and has the city’s best interests at heart,” my friend said. Others with whom I am acquainted have said the very same thing about her.
Understand this, too. I don’t know Nelson. I haven’t met her. I’d like to visit with her at some point prior to the election. So, I just might do that.
Oh, and what about the current mayor, Paul Harpole? I’m hearing he’s going to call it a public service career and will make room for Nelson.
Where does all this political intrigue leave Demerson?
I believe it forces him to seek to retain his council seat rather than mounting a futile campaign to defeat someone with Nelson’s chops.
You see, much of the support for Nelson comes from those who believe the City Council’s dysfunction is unacceptable. That dysfunction began appearing immediately after three new council members took office after the May 2015 city election. The city manager and the city attorney quit. The assistant city manager retired.
One of the new council members was Elisha Demerson. Coincidence? I think not.
I know Demerson only a little. We’ve been acquainted for a number of years. His years on the Potter County Commissioners Court predate my arrival in Amarillo, but I’ve learned about the rocky time he had as county judge.
His brief tenure on the City Council also coincides with additional rockiness. Is there a pattern here … or what?
So, with the municipal election about six months away, we’re already getting set to view a bit of political drama.
As if we haven’t had enough of it already for the past two years.