How about a big runoff election turnout?

Posted by John Kanelis on

Wouldn't it be simply outstanding if a municipal runoff election produced a turnout that matched, if not surpassed, the turnout in an initial election?

I know. Dream on. Runoff turnouts usually are reduced to small fractions of the original turnout.

But the Place 4 runoff election for Amarillo City Council's Place 4 seat just might produce a greater-than-average turnout on June 13. Early voting for the runoff begins Monday and runs through the rest of the week, ending on Friday.

Mark Nair and Steve Rogers are running to fill the seat that had been held by Ron Boyd, who was picked to replace the late Jim Simms, who died in office. Boyd -- who had served previously on the council -- chose not to seek election to the seat he filled by council appointment.

A number of candidates sought the seat. Nair and Rogers finished 1-2, respectively, in the May 9 election. However, Nair, didn't reach the 50 percent majority he needed to win outright. Thus, the runoff will select the next City Council member from Place 4.


The two men appeared this past week on "Live Here," a Panhandle PBS-produced public affairs program. It was hosted by Panhandle PBS General Manager Chris Hays, who asked both of them a series of questions relating to their candidacies and, indeed, relating to some controversy surrounding their candidacies.

Both men answered the questions. Rogers explained his involvement in the sale of the Commerce Building, which will become the home to the downtown Amarillo branch of West Texas A&M University.

The candidates got to make their case. Did every voter watch the "Live Here" segment when it aired this past Thursday? No. But those who missed the TV broadcast can view it on the link attached to this blog post.

The council is going to feature three new faces for the next two years. Two of those new council members, Randy Burkett and Elisha Demerson, have taken office. The third man will be either Nair or Rogers. The three new guys will join Mayor Paul Harpole and incumbent Councilman Brian Eades for the next two years.

The council has a full plate through which it will work. Downtown's redevelopment is among the issues; so is the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation; ditto for the council's relationship with senior city staff and, perhaps, even the manner in which the council does its own business.

Check out the 29-minute interview with Mark Nair and Steve Rogers, as they try to make their individual case as to why voters should pick either of them for the Amarillo City Council.

Just maybe we can bust the mold and witness a runoff turnout that doesn't feature just a few dedicates voters making a critical decision that affects all the city residents.



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