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HPPR Government & Politics

Amarillo mayor announces that he will not run for re-election

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Amarillo Mayor Paul Harpole announced Tuesday that he will not be seeking re-election.

In a press conference Tuesday, Harpole said he felt it was time he stepped down to allow for new leadership.

As The Amarillo Globe reports, Harpole made the announcement, which has been expected for several months, that he would not seek a fourth term in May’s election.

“It’s time for others to step forward and lead this city. I would not run again unless we had quality people stepping forward, and we do. I see people who can lead and unify and continue to move this city forward without an agenda,” Harpole said.

Harpole, who has long supported downtown development as a vehicle for raising sales taxes, brought more downtown growth than any mayor since the 1970s, The Amarillo Globe reports, but that growth angered a segment of voters who elected three new city council members in 2015, one of whom Harpole was at odds with over downtown projects, city personnel, boards and commissions.

Prior to serving as mayor, Harpole, who owns a car dealership, served on the city council from 2007 to 2009 and returned in 2011 as mayor with a 73 percent margin of victory over 10 opponents and was re-elected in 2013 with 82 percent of the vote.

Three candidates have thrown their hats into the ring for this year’s election including real estate investor Jeremy Bryan, photo archivist Renea Dauntes and attorney Ginger Nelson.