In a surprise twist just weeks away from the May 4 municipal election in Amarillo, one candidate running in a crowded field for an at-large city council seat has suspended his campaign, instead endorsing his former opponent.

Recently, former Potter County Justice of the Peace Richard Herman announced he would be suspending his city council bid, choosing to endorse fellow challenger Hayden Pedigo for the Place 1 Amarillo City Council seat. Herman and Pedigo are both on the ballot challenging incumbent Elaine Hays, who is seeking a second term in office. Business consultant Jay U. Kirkman, III is also seeking the spot.

“I want to announce I am throwing all my support to Hayden Pedigo, for he is qualified to be the person who will bring energy and new ideas to our community,” Herman said in a written statement. “I have developed a strong faith in my own abilities and believe this young man should be elected and needs every one of our votes. Your vote for him and faith will carve a special place in my life, and you will always be remembered for this moment.”

While Herman has suspended his campaign, his name will still remain on the ballot. However, he has since spoken in favor of Pedigo’s campaign several times at public events, campaigning for the 25-year-old challenger. Pedigo has also been endorsed by Amarillo mayoral candidate Claudette Smith.

This race will be decided on May 4, with early voting slated to run through April 30.

Thomas Warren

Thomas Warren, III is the editor-in-chief of the Amarillo Pioneer newspaper in Amarillo, Texas.