Perhaps the worst kept secret in Kyle was revealed in front of a standing room only crowd Tuesday as District 1 council member Travis Mitchell threw his hat into the ring for the upcoming November mayoral race.
Mitchell, who won the District 1 seat in June 2016, aims to take the seat held by Mayor Todd Webster, who earlier this month announced he would not seek re-election. Mitchell also becomes one of the first to file for a trio of Kyle city council seats up for grabs this November.
As of press time, no other person has filed for the mayoral or District 4 Kyle City Council seats. On Monday, Kyle resident Bill Sinor filed for District 2 City Council seat.
Mitchell, who submitted his election filing Tuesday afternoon, said his decision to run for mayor was made for several reasons.
One was to maintain a level of experience on the dais, citing the imminent departures of several longtime city council members. Earlier this month, District 4 council member David Wilson and District 2 council member Becky Selbera said they wouldn’t seek re-election this November. Mitchell said he believes the city needs a leader who could “hit the ground running and help new council members get their bearings” on issues.
He also felt the city’s mayor should know where the city stands on economic issues and has the “city’s best interest at heart.”
He also said he wants to keep the city moving forward, as the city has been playing “the long game for years now.” He cited the city investing in police, the parks system and infrastructure.
Mitchell said his vision to see Kyle become strong financially, economically, culturally and aesthetically.
However, Mitchell said he wasn’t exclusively pro-growth or no-growth, which he felt has divided the city for too long. He felt both groups are right in their thinking.
“Kyle should be strong,” Mitchell said. “We should make every decision on the dais with a sense of purpose and how it fits into a larger picture.”
He also felt his ability to collaborate and listen to others could allow him to “lead the people of Kyle to its future.”
Mitchell’s announcement ended speculation that he was aspiring to run for the mayor’s seat. Mitchell’s announcement, made at Texas Pie Company in downtown Kyle, was billed as a “special campaign announcement.”
Many friends and family, along with several elected officials attended the announcement party.
Kyle mayor Todd Webster, who said his support was “unqualified,” said Mitchell is in it for the city and not for himself.
He also believed Mitchell had an open mind and that he is open to what others have to say.
“Someone who is willing to take the time and the effort to do that and have an open mind to what others are saying and amend their thinking, the city is well served by that,” Webster said.
Jonathan Leftwich, who is a friend of Mitchell, said he sees a person who “strives to do what is right.”
“I also see a man who loves his people,” Leftwich said. “That’s the wisdom the Bible talks about and that’s what I want in a leader.”
The filing period for potential city council candidates ends Aug. 21.
Correction: An earlier version of this story reported Mitchell was the only one to file for candidacy. On Monday, Kyle resident Bill Sinor filed for District 2 City Council seat. We regret the error.