SHSU dropout seeks City Council seat to represent student views


Former SHSU student Katie Newman has filed her paperwork to join the race for a seat on the Huntsville City Council.

Newman will run for the Ward 2 seat currently held by Mayor Pro-Temp Mac Woodward, whose seat is term-limited. She has resided in Huntsville for the past three years.

“I love Huntsville, and I feel I can make it a better place for all of its citizens,” Newman said in a press release.

Newman said she has attended most of the regular city council meetings since last June. During that time, Mayor J. Turner placed her on the Huntsville Beautification Advisory Committee in December 2010.

Her campaign team, which includes two current SHSU students, has opened a variety of social media including a Facebook and Twitter page.

“Walker County and the City of Huntsville have really been using it as a tool since the wildfire,” Newsman said. “So why not use it as a good tool.”

Before she began her campaign, Newman was a political science major at SHSU before dropping out last semester.

“At the time I was really not focused on school,” Newsman said. “I had a lot of pressure put on me from a variety of sources. I wasn’t really into [school] at the time.”

She said that dropping out has no impact on her ability to serve.

“I still support the university,” she said. “Sometimes you have to move on in life and school was just not in my path.”

Newman said that she has no regrets with the decision, which in part had to do with grades and her full-time job at SAAFE House where she worked for a year.

“I stopped school to work with the non-profit full-time,” Newman said. “With the job that I took, I learned organizational skills and grew up a lot.”

She said her education from her work at SAAFE House and within the City Council makes her a qualified representative.

“I have been attending City Council meetings since June 2010, and I’ve only missed one,” Newman said. “I’ve been to a couple budget workshops. I’m at the age where I understand students, but I also have substance.”

She said her age will be a benefit when it comes to helping represent the university and her constituents.

“I think the age of 18 to 27 is a very vital age for people,” Newman said. “Not that Huntsville doesn’t care about that age group. But in a college town, having someone that age on city council would be a huge benefit.”

One example she cited was her support for Map B during the redistricting issue. Map B would have created a ward specifically for the area where the majority of university students live.

“I don’t want to say the City Council is ignoring students when the redistricting vote has been stalled for three months,” Newman said, “but college students do not have someone that they feel can represent them.”

“I would love to be a buffer between the city and the college.”

Newman encourages anyone with questions to email her at, or contact her through her social media sites.

Elections are scheduled to be held on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

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