Familiar Faces, Newcomers File to Run in City Council Election

With City Council all four district seats are up for election in May, the race has just begun for the citizens announcing their candidacy.

All candidates must file to run by February 17 and early voting begins April 24. In addition to high turnover in the City Council, Denton will also have a new city manager and city auditor.

Councilmember Kevin Roden has reached his term limit as the representative of District 1 and newcomer Dr. Emily White has announced her run for the position. 

White, a 19-year Denton resident and English professor at North Central Texas College, has volunteered as a member of the Citizen Bond Committee and the Transportation Committee. 

“I see serving on the City Council as the ultimate volunteer experience,” White said. “It’s a very heartwarming and reciprocal decision for me.”

White also volunteers at the Denton Community Market, which she sees as an example of Denton’s tight-knit culture. 

“We have local sustainability and commerce at the market,” White said. “It’s an important intersection of local commerce, tourism, and healthy living, and it gives Denton the opportunity to maintain credit as a sustainable city.”

In District 2, councilmember Keely Briggs announced she will run for re-election.

“I’m really excited about the future of our city and I’m excited to stay on the City Council if Denton will have me,” Briggs said. “There’s a lot of development going on, and I want to make sure we protect our neighborhoods.”

She said she wants to focus on homelessness and the need for more affordable housing in Denton. 

“I’m bringing experience in a time with lots of transition,” Briggs said. “It’s a full-time job, and I’m in a position to give it a full-time effort.”

Local realtor Don Duff, who works primarily in Robson Ranch, announced he will run for the District 3 seat. Duff said he decided to run when Kathleen Wazny, the current District 3 representative, announced she would not run again

“We know we need someone from Robson Ranch and we needed someone to do it,” Duff said. “She’s a close friend and she’ll be a mentor and advisor to me. We have a very active community and many of them vote.”

Retired businessman Paul Meltzer also announced he would run for the District 3 seat.  

 "We need to get to a majority on council who will stand up for a smarter approach to growth that builds on what makes Denton special," Meltzer said. "We need to be better, not just bigger. And as a thirty-year corporate exec, I feel I have the skills to work with the new city manager and city auditor to bring fiscal discipline so our spending can reflect our values."

Councilmember Joey Hawkins has announced he will not run for the District 4 seat again. John Ryan, who served a term as the District 2 representative, has announced his bid for the District 4 seat. 

“Lots of people asked me to run, and I’ve always believed in community service,” Ryan said. “Denton is a fast-growing community. There’s a lot of issues that require long-term planning.” 

Ryan said he’s particularly concerned with Denton’s long-term plans for water conservation. 

“As the city grows, we have to make sure that if there’s another drought we’re not in the same situation Wichita Falls was in,” Ryan said.

Local business owner and longtime Denton resident Amanda Servis, another newcomer, is running for the district 4 seat. As another newcomer and one of the youngest candidates, she said she’s running because of her strong community ties and wants to improve Denton’s infrastructure and protect local businesses.

“I care about Denton to the core, I know what people’s concerns are,” Servis said. “I just want to make sure Denton stays its true self.”

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