Kid Candidate Image

Kid Candidate

By Bobby LePire | July 2, 2021

NEW TO VOD! Kid Candidate, produced by Gunpowder & Sky in association with XTR, is a political campaign documentary, a chronicle of a growing Texas town, a biography of its subject, Hayden Pedigo, and an examination of small-town corruption gone unchecked. Director Jasmine Stodel puts all these seemingly disparate elements into a blender, with the results emerging as a punk rock celebration of the call to truly help one’s community.

Pedigo made a silly video as a lark in which he announced his candidacy for Amarillo City Council. The response from the experimental musician’s peers and others made Pedigo want to actually mount a run for the city council. Supported by his caring wife, L’Hannah Pedigo, he decides to take no donations for his campaign and prove how the city has sidelined the youth and minorities for far too long.

“…decides to take no donations for his campaign and prove how the city has sidelined the youth and minorities…”

Kid Candidate intercuts the films Pedigo made in his teens, with his current, serious run, as well as interviews with supporters, incumbent city council members, and the mayor of Amarillo, Ginger Nelson, among others. The style helps the audience get a clear idea of Pedigo’s personality, and watching him grow and form policy is more absorbing than one would expect. Via text, he informs Stodel that he’s feeling down and dealing with too much to get any filming down on this particular day. Later on, Pedigo states that he wound up having a great day since he went to a South Sudanese church and really listened to what they wanted for the community.

The juxtaposition of the political hopeful going from one extreme to the other mines an emotional depth beyond the usual will they/won’t they win the election of other campaign documentaries. The holistic overview of Amarillo politics and the potential corruption of the mayoral office on down also ups the stakes for what Hayden Pedigo is fighting for. Stodel ably balances all these threads — Pedigo’s personal growth, the rigors of running a campaign, the evolution of the town, and the fight against small-town corruption — with a kinetic style that mirrors the homegrown movies Pedigo made in his youth.

Kid Candidate (2021)

Directed: Jasmine Stodel


Starring: Hayden Pedigo, L'Hannah Pedigo, Jeff Blackburn, etc.

Movie score: 7.5/10

Kid Candidate Image

"…a punk rock celebration of the call to truly help one's community."

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