Meet Fayetteville mayoral candidate William Harris


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — William Harris is one of four men who are vying to become the mayor of Fayetteville.

The Oklahoma native has lived in Fayetteville for the last 15 years. He said he moved here with his then-girlfriend and while their relationship didn’t last, his love for the city has.

Harris is a published author, with an autobiography that details his time living in Columbus, Ohio in the 1960’s.

“I was recruited into the underground movement of the 1960’s and 70’s,” Harris continued, “we were terrorizing the city of Columbus just a few days before president Nixon was scheduled to visit.”

William Harris

Harris said this ended his career with the Air Force and led to a six-year stint in prison.

“That changed everything.”

After he finished out his sentence, Harris said he got mixed up with the wrong crowd yet again, and found himself back behind bars. This time he was locked up for 14 years. He said he was framed for arson.

“I rolled over on them, turned in a list of names to the Reagan team in Columbus and that is something, I can be proud of my 20 years in prison. Six years for what we did, 14 years for what they did.”

Even after spending a combined 20 years in prison, Harris said, “quite frankly, for all this, I’ve led a rather dull life.”

In 2016, Harris ran an unsuccessful campaign for Washington County District 2 Constable. Now, he’s trying his shot for mayor.

“We’ve got possibly the best collection of people in the world concentrated right here in Northwest Arkansas.”

William harris

It’s these people Harris said he wants to represent, using a faith-based leadership style.

“Our fair city can lead the way into what I call faith-based humanics as opposed to secular humanism,” Harris said.

In addition to this way of leadership, Harris has two other main running points.

He wants to build an Olympic-sized swimming pool in the center of Fayetteville, and he wants to expand the city’s already growing library system.

“We need to get some satellite libraries that will serve more people,” he said.

In terms of decisions already made by the Fayetteville City Council, Harris said he was surprised to see racism declared a public health crisis, but stands behind the council’s decision.

Harris said, “I’m not aquatinted with racism in Fayetteville because all the black people I know are more than respectable, they are distinguished, they are admirable.”

With regards to the Styrofoam ban, he said it wouldn’t have been on his agenda, but “now that it’s already in place, yeah I’d keep it in place.”

Politics have written much of the author’s past, now he’s hoping you’ll help write his future as Fayetteville’s next mayor.

Early voting in Arkansas begins October 19. Election Day is November 3.

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