Stick a fork in Amarillo's mayoral race, it's done. The crazy square dance of a campaign included a show-down between incumbent Ginger Nelson and Claudette Smith, all but overshadowing the other two candidates, Michael Hunt and Carl Karas. Before I go any further, let me say that I don't have a dog in this fight and I'm just calling it as I see it being a newbie here.

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The Recount to Win Strategy

The night of the election saw Nelson sitting at 54% to Smith's 29%. Normally, this wouldn't be grounds for a recount, as the mayor had more than 50.1% of the vote. But Smith was fully within her rights to file a petition seeking a recount. She was vocal in her suspicion that the results had been tampered with.

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The Results

Sometimes things backfire and I'm a firm believer of the old adage "Be careful what you wish for." In the case of Claudette Smith, she got her recount, but she actually put a few more in the hands of her opponent Michael Hunt. Okay, so maybe 7 votes isn't exactly a blockbuster number--but that's all the more for him.

Smith now has to deal with two facts. One, she's $4,500 in the hole (at minimum) on the recount. Two, this is the second consecutive time Smith has ran for mayor and lost. For her part, Nelson thanked the Secretary of State inspector for conducting the recount as well as the voters.

Rule by mandate?

Even at 54 percent of the vote, Mayor Nelson does need to look at the fact that half of Amarillo may not be on board with what she does and I do hope she takes all of our voices into consideration when policy comes up. Nelson faces pandemic recovery and continued growing pains around Amarillo.

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I think most of us here in town aren't so concerned about who's on office, we really want someone who shows results and gets it done. Personally I just want to know when the potholes in my neighborhood getting fixed and if someone will finally speak up and fix The Herring Hotel which could be a economic driver downtown and truthfully neither candidate really had much to say there.

Say You're From Amarillo Without Saying You're From Amarillo

Amarillo is a pretty quirky place. We've got the Big Texan, the weird signs, and (obviously) the famed Cadillac Ranch. But more than that, there's a distinct culture of close-knit community, eccentrics, a thriving arts scene, and much more.

The point is, living in Amarillo is a unique experience. Because of that, it's really pretty easy to tell who's a native or a long-time resident. And I can prove it.

Here's a couple of ways you can say you're from Amarillo.....without saying you're from Amarillo.

The Abandoned St. Anthony's Hospital on Amarillo Boulevard


The 119-year-old abandoned hospital is a fascinating place for any who are lucky enough to be granted the chance to explore.

The sprawling building saw thousands of Amarillo's citizens inside its halls daily, all the the way until it was shuttered in 2001. But there are still incredible artifacts of the all-too-recent past tucked away in the nooks and crannies of the old St. Anthony.

The explorer who took these photographs gave the following information:

"Many rooms were left untouched, we found patient files, old prescriptions, a blood transfusion machine from the 60s, and microscopic slides of breast cancer from the 70s and 80s. I put one picture in here of some heart scans so you can see the dates and diagnosis of the patient, but marked out the patient’s names of course. During a time when mental illness was not understood, 76 exorcisms were documented to have been performed between 1909 and 1931."

Take a look inside the halls of the legendary abandoned St. Anthony's hospital