Abilene mayoral candidates face off at final debate in KTXS studio

Abilene mayoral candidates face off...

ABILENE, Texas - Abilene's three candidates for mayor faced off in the KTXS studio Thursday evening.  

KTXS held the debate in partnership with the Abilene Reporter-News. 

It was an hour-long, commercial-free debate moderated by KTXS anchor George Levesque. It covered a wide variety of issues facing the city such as regulating payday loans, 

Sometimes what you do, you do what is right, said Anthony Williams, mayoral candidate and current Abilene city councilman. Those who use payday lending are paying about a 400 percent APR.

The candidates were also asked about a downtown hotel.

I'm all for it with the private sector, said Richard Kennedy, a mayoral candidate and leader of 180 House. I think it would be a great addition to our downtown.

Another issue that came up was repairing the city's streets. 

As a council we need to make sure that we start a scheduled street maintenance plan, said Robert Briley, a mayoral candidate and former city councilman.

At the end of the debate the candidates also had a chance to ask one another questions. After the debate we asked the candidates the main point they want to get across to voters.

"Whether you vote for me or you vote for one of my two opponents please get out and vote, Kennedy said. Your vote is important to this process.

We need to create more jobs, Briley said. We have got to stay true with our investment dollars.

I really want a better Abilene, and we do that by allowing more people to be around that table to give more people an opportunity to participate, Williams said. 

McMurry Political Science Professor Dr. Paul Fabrizio helped decide questions for the debate. He said while the candidates agree on many issues, they'd bring different approaches to the job as Abilene's next mayor.  

Anthony Williams is much more of an inclusive kind of approach, Fabrizio said. He talks about including other people. He talks about diversity. Robert Briley is much more focused on business and rules and procedures, and Richard Kennedy comes from an outside perspective with no city experience, and so he has an outsider's take on it all.

You can watch the entire debate on the KTXS Facebook page. 

Early voting begins Monday. 

Election Day is May 6.    



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