Q&A With DeSoto Mayoral Candidate Rachel Proctor

Rachel L Proctor headshot
Rachel Proctor Photo:Kauwuane Burton Studios

Rachel Proctor Is Running For Mayor of DeSoto

DESOTO – The Special Election on February 2, 2021 in DeSoto has two candidates running for the vacant Mayoral seat. The open seat is to replace beloved mayor Curtistene McCowan who passed away late last year.

Both Mayor Pro Tem Kenzie Moore III and Rachel Proctor are hoping to fill the mayoral seat in the upcoming election.

Early voting begins January 20 to January 29, 2021.

Focus Daily News asked Ms. Proctor (www.RachelforDesoto.com) these questions about her run for the mayoral seat.


Focus Daily News: What are some of the things you would like to accomplish if elected?

Rachel Proctor: One issue that I believe requires the most attention and resources during my term, if elected, would first be our pandemic response to those most impacted as well as making sure that resources are distributed timely to our city as it pertains to relief funding, testing, and vaccine distribution as these things continue to be made available.

Secondly, methodically executing our Strategic Plan is a priority. We have a great foundation with what has been outlined and developed within the newly released plan. Now it’s time to prioritize those points that have been identified, set deadlines, and take action.

Moreover, the role of the City Council as it relates to DeSoto ISD is to build a coalition that will work together to serve the needs of their joint constituents. This starts with regular meetings with the Board of Trustees to hear from them on what initiatives they have where the city could work jointly with them as well as creating an opportunity for them to be included in the strategic planning for the city to develop a joint vision for our city.

While the city has no jurisdiction over the school district, it does owe it to the residents and stakeholders to work cooperatively with them to provide the best service possible to our shared audience.

Specific changes I would like to make would be to reinstate regular joint meetings with the Board of Trustees and the Superintendent as well as initiate the creation of a Joint Strategic Plan between the council and the board.


FDN: What will be the challenges to overcome in the new term?

RP: The largest challenge during this new term would be time. With only 18 months remaining in this unexpired term it will be essential to prioritize only those initiatives that can be tackled and making the necessary plans for those that will require more time so that, if re-elected to a full term, I would have an opportunity to put them in motion immediately because the preliminary steps will have been taken.

My philosophy on this is to hone in on what top three foundational issues – if accomplished, will make everything else we want to get done in the future that much easier. To determine which issues would be at the top of the list of priorities, I would have open communication with the citizens, staff and stakeholders early in the term and immediately take action on those agreed upon areas of concern shared by the majority.


FDN: With COVID still present how do you think the City is best served moving forward and is there anything else you believe should be implemented?

RP: Going forward the city would be best served by putting strict accountability measures in place to ensure that all funds provided for assistance made it into the hands of those most impacted. I would work to make sure that we strengthen partnerships on the County, State and Federal levels to make sure that DeSoto is not overlooked when it comes to the distribution of resources we need to help us continue to navigate this pandemic.


FDN: How long have you been on the City Council and lived in DeSoto?

RP: I served on the DeSoto City Council from 2013-2019 and served as the Mayor Pro Tem on the Council from 2016 – 2019. I’ve lived in DeSoto for over 30 years. My family moved to DeSoto in 1989, when I was in the 3rd grade. I graduated from DeSoto High School in 1999.