By WARREN SLAUGHTER
A good number of Dalhart residents braved the cold, bleak weather Tuesday night to attend a mayoral candidates’ forum held at Hillside Christian Church. All three candidates – Kurtis Thomas, Tammi Ledford and Gene Rahll – were on hand to win votes and give their perspective on what direction the city should take. Rodney White was the moderator for the event and went over the rules with the candidates before having them draw for speaking order. Each candidate was asked some predetermined questions, and, time permitting, some questions from the audience. Responses were limited to three minutes per candidate, per question.
In the first question, the candidates were asked to give some background information about themselves, highlighting their experience and education. Gene Rahll said he had lived in Dalhart for 30 years and his wife was a lifelong Dalhart resident. He said he would only serve one term, if elected, to give the city leadership some experience. Mr. Rahll pointed to his accomplishments the city had achieved under his 16 years of leadership: renovation of the Rita Blanca Coliseum, establishing walking trails in Rita Blanca Park, a large-scale hog farm, and a state prison.
“I can get things done,” Mr. Rahll summed up.
Kurtis Thomas noted that voters had a wide variety of candidates.
“Dalhart is poised for greatness and poised for success, and who will you pick to lead you?” Mr. Thomas asked.
He said his parents taught him you can have a positive impact where you live. He served as an aide for U.S. Representative John Carter of Texas, and said he considered it a blessing to have served on the Dalhart City Council. In addition to serving on the Council, he said he is also active with the Mary Bells Christmas project and serves on the boards of numerous scholarship boards.
Tammie Ledford said she moved to Dalhart two years ago, and that she moved here because she wanted to move here. Dr. Ledford said that as a newcomer, she brings new ideas and a fresh beginning to everything. She also said she owns businesses where she comes from, including co-owning a grocery store. She served on her county’s recreation board.
“I would love to be mayor of Dalhart, and want what’s best for Dalhart,” Dr. Ledford said.
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