ACU advancement and executive community services officer Anthony Williams will seek a second term as mayor of Abilene.
Williams conducted an official campaign kickoff Thursday at The Front Porch Coffee and Bakery, during which he recognized family and friends that have supported him throughout his time as mayor and his decision to run for a second three-year term.
Williams was first elected mayor in 2017 in a runoff against Abilene businessman Robert Briley. Williams had previously served 16 years on the city council before his first election as mayor. Williams said he recounts walking 20,000 doors in his first election campaign.
“I said three years ago, that if you gave me an opportunity to be your mayor, that we would address our streets,” Williams said. “This next year, this community, we’re going to spend around 30 million dollars on our streets. We decided to forego any sort of debt and to put before you the idea of paying as we go, and you voted for that. So we have a way to address our streets and do so without any debt at all. We are going to fix our streets.”
Williams said he has a lot of unfinished business.
“We’ve accomplished so many goals and I think we’ve had a lot of success,” Williams said. “There are some things that we haven’t completed yet and I want to see that to the end.”
Williams also spoke of addressing the issue of water in the streets of Abilene during his campaign kickoff, while a downpour continued to raise water in the streets outside.
“Water has always been an issue,” Williams said. “In semi-arid West Texas, it will always be an issue. But I think you will hear, in the upcoming weeks, that we have an opportunity to solve water in our lifetime, for the next 50 years. Now those of you who are knowledgeable, this is an ongoing conversation that we’ve had for decades, but we’re going to have an opportunity to address it. Working with the cities of Midland and San Angelo, working to bring a solution for the water.”
Williams said he wants to continue economic investment in the community of Abilene.
“You know if you look, our economy has grown in a significant way, the amount of money that we’ve added in new development to the tax roll, the decrease in unemployment, I think we’re going to have an opportunity to see even greater success moving forward than we’ve seen in recent years,” Williams said. “And that thrills me.”
Williams said when looking at the history of Abilene, the only time the community has seen such significant development that compares to where we are now took place in 1968 during the period when the Abilene Convention Center and City Hall were built.
“I don’t know if I’m going to have an opponent,” Williams said. “But the water is warm. Anybody can jump in. I am ready to work.”
Deadline to file a ballot application to run is Feb. 14, and the election will take place May 2.