WF mayoral candidates rate first debate performance

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Following a successful and informative mayoral debate Thursday, Oct. 1, the candidates are analyzing how they did.

Mayor Stephen Santellana, Kevin Hunter and James Huling went head to head on the controversial issues facing the city of Wichita Falls.

All three said they believe they got their points across and with it remaining almost entirely civil, they’re pleased it wasn’t anything like the first presidential debate.

After final statements were made, and the lights turned out, Wichita Falls mayoral candidates reflected on their first debate performance.

“I probably mumbled some words, my thoughts get ahead of my vocals, it’s normal,” mayoral candidate Kevin Hunter said. “I’m not a career politician.”

“When you live and breathe this every day, you’re looking at a budget six months out of the year for the past five years,” Mayor Stephen Santellana, who is running for re-election, said. “You know kind of a head start.”

The mayor hopefuls agree on many issues in the city, but their agendas differing slightly was shown.

“The focus on what Mayor Stephen and Kevin Hunter are totally different from what I’m trying to do,” mayoral candidate James Huling said. “I’m trying to get the younger generation more focused involved in voting and registering, the entertainment industry is very lacking here.”

The hour-long debate serving as an outlet to get to know the candidates and where they lie on the big issues.

“There’s a lot of overlap, I mean anytime you’re talking about issues for Wichita Falls, I always say you can hand the microphone to anybody,” Santellana said. “It’s how are you gonna get there and is it a reality.”

An emphasis on the importance of Thursday night’s conversation between the candidates was expressed.

“This election is not going to be won off election signs, I don’t care who buys the biggest, the most,” Hunter said. “It’s going to be the issues, that’s what it is, that’s what’s best for this town is the issues.”

“All the opponents they had really good answers I felt and I felt I really got my point across,” Huling said.

Many topics were discussed, such as the proposed MPEC hotel, tax rates and Lake Ringgold. Topics these candidates feel confident in heading to November.

Early voting kicks off Oct. 13 and wraps up Oct. 30.

Election Day is Nov. 3.

If you missed the debate, watch the full thing here.

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