ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The mayoral forum, presented by the Abilene Chamber of Commerce, took place Wednesday morning at the Abilene Woman’s Club. Each of the four candidates answered questions by moderator, Doug Williamson, Director of Governmental Affairs.

The candidates for the 2023 mayoral election are Dasi Reddy, Weldon Hurt, Chad Clark and Ryan Goodwin. The candidates were asked a series of questions that included, street maintenance, helping local businesses and what action they would take on their first day in office.

Each candidate also spoke about what their top priorities will be if elected. Dasi Reddy would like to focus on lowering the crime rate in Abilene and read the statistics regarding Abilene’s crime rate stating, “Abilene is the seventh most dangerous city in Texas.”

“We need to increase the police force and the training standards,” Reddy said.

Ryan Goodwin’s top priority is public safety.

“We really need to look at equipment for our public safety,” Goodwin explained. “One of the things that really concerns me is our retirees and just making sure, especially the police department, that we take care of the people that have taken care of our city.”

Weldon Hurt would like to work with the DCOA to continue creating new jobs.

“They’re there for primary job creation and also job retention. There are a lot of expansions of existing business here in Abilene the DCOA is working with,” Hurt said.

Chad Clark plans to revamp City Council, first, by changing the meeting time. He explained that it limits the number of residents who can attend a meeting to have their voices heard.

“There are people who work a 9 to 5 making $9, $10, $15 an hour and can’t make it to a City Council meeting,” explained Clark.

Voting will take place on Saturday, May 6. Abilene voters are encouraged to get out and help elect the key city’s next mayor.