Keely Briggs, Denton District 2 city councilperson and mayoral candidate, kicked off her mayoral campaign Sunday afternoon at Dan’s Silverleaf with over a hundred attendees.
Local county band Raised Right Men began the event with an hour-long performance while attendees arrived before Briggs’ husband and campaign treasurer Dan Briggs introduced the candidate.
Briggs filed to run on Jan. 15, in the midst of her third term as the council member, a position she has held since 2015.
Dan praised Briggs as both an able mother and an active member of the community.
“Credibility counts, the kind of things we do count,” Dan said. “She’s putting 50 to 60 hours a week. She’s answering emails, returning phone calls, reading every bit of material everyone is supposed to read when they’re sitting in that city council seat and making sure good decisions are being made.”
He then listed over a dozen committees and coalitions that Briggs is a part of.
“She’s the chair of the Committee on the Environment, she’s on our mobility committee locally,” Dan said. “She serves on our city of Economic Partnership Board, so if anyone tells you she doesn’t know anything about economics just laugh them [off].”
Councilwoman Briggs then took the stage to address the audience, speaking on her policies in which she would promote “citizen engagement, fiscal responsibility, economic prosperity,” among other things.
“I voted against the first budget that was ever put in front of me on the city council because the development of that budget was not transparent and lacked accountability,” Briggs said. “I am frugal and I am thrift when it comes to spending taxpayer dollars — but I don’t compromise our level of service and vital programming. I want accountability and for expenditures and investments to be tied to key objectives with measurable results.”
She also addressed her plans for the environment, education and infrastructure, citing decades of neglect for the latter.
“Now, I know the town feels like it is under construction . . . and that feeling is pretty accurate,” she said. “But there is a lot of work to do. And we can’t put it off any further. We have to get the job done or we will fall further and further behind. We are the Denton that is going to fix Denton.”
She also talked about her goals for the local community.
“We benefit from the positive work of our numerous non-profits and charitable organizations,” Briggs said. “They make us better . . . And we have to make sure that the efforts of our city, our non-profits and charitable organizations continue to improve their coordination and integration in addressing the challenges we have in homelessness, housing, population-health and . . . at-risk children and families. We have to be vigilant in our work to make Denton a place that works for all of us and to make sure this is a place that extends fair opportunity, respect and human decency.”
She ended her speech by thanking the attendees and band and later spoke to constituents. The rest of the event saw folks chatting, the band playing and a section on the patio where supporters could record endorsements for Briggs with a professional team.
Denton resident and legal advocate Queen Janata Montgomery expressed approval of Brigg’s policies and goals for the community.
“What interests me about [Briggs], I advocate on behalf on people of color and marginalized [people],” Montgomery said. “She shares these feelings and is for victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, things of that nature.”
District 2 resident and TWU employee Tamsyn Price was also supportive of Briggs.
“Keely is one of the most available city council people,” Price said. “I think policy-wise, she’s very concerned about the future of Denton, and she wants us to grow sustainably.”
Voting begins May 2, where not only will the position of mayor will be decided, but also city council positions Districts 1, 2, 5 and 6. Gerard Hudspeth, District 1 city councilperson, is also running for mayor, with his kickoff campaign party scheduled for Jan. 30.
“Denton matters,” Montgomery said. “Councilwoman Briggs is truly about the community in terms of engagement and implementing the right policies on behalf of the community.”
Featured Image: Denton District 2 councilwoman Keely Briggs gives a speech at her mayoral campaign kick off on Jan. 26, 2020. Image by Quincy Palmer