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Monday, May 17, 2021

Four city council seats up for grabs in May 1 election

Article Originally Published by Ileana Garnand on North Texas Daily

Article Originally Published by Ileana Garnand on North Texas Daily

Denton County will hold elections on May 1 for four city council seats with a range of candidates from incumbents to a scientist and researcher to a university graduate student.

Early voting will occur from April 19 to April 27. A list of early and election day locations is available on the Denton County Elections website. April 20 is the last day to receive an application for a mail-in ballot and/or a Federal Post Card Application to register and request absentee ballots.

Denton City Council District 1  

Birdia Johnson, Matt Irvine and Vicki Byrd are running against each other for the council seat.

Johnson, the incumbent, has served on the council since November 2020. She is running on a platform of educational welfare, government transparency, road improvements and minimized tax increases.

“Safeguarding our city’s future is a priority,” Johnson said.

Irvine is a self-described conservative candidate who told the North Texas Daily he has not taken any PAC money nor been backed by a political party, making him “a real independent.” His platform includes energy infrastructure, city business and job development, education funding and local government accountability and cybersecurity. 

“I value evidence and facts when making decisions, not what people want to hear,” Irvine said.

Byrd is a graduate of Texas Woman’s University, retired Denton Independent School District employee and local business owner. Her platform focuses on local economic opportunity, affordable housing, justice and equality in law enforcement and infrastructure improvement. 

“Voters should know that I am sincere in my efforts to speak for them,” Byrd said. “I have lived, worked and played in this city for 38 years and have appreciated its growth.” 

Denton City Council District 2 

Connie Baker, Daniel Clanton and Brian Beck are running for the council seat. 

The incumbent, Baker, is running for reelection on a platform of low taxes, local business recovery, job creation and neighborhood safety. He is a lifelong Denton resident and a retired Denton County law enforcement worker. Baker did not respond to requests for comment.

Clanton is a longtime resident and graduate of Denton High School. He runs on a platform of infrastructure improvement, public safety, economic growth, inclusivity and government transparency. 

“I want to make sure that our citizens feel safe, whether it is adding sidewalks instead of walking in the street to making sure our first responders have what they need to do their jobs,” Clanton said.

Beck’s main platform priority is public health, including COVID-19, homeless mental health and environmental impacts on air and water. He is a scientist and university educator.

“My focus is on a community-driven approach to improve public health, maintain our quality-of-life and the environment, and support sustainable growth patterns,” Beck said. “To make this happen, we have to have both informed citizens and a responsive government.”

Denton City Council District 3

Incumbent Jesse Davis is running unopposed. He is running on a platform of low taxes, economic development, environmental sustainability and partnerships with nonprofits. Davis did not respond to requests for comment. 

Denton City Council District 4

John Ryan and Alison Maguire are running against each other for the council seat. 

Ryan is the incumbent, with a platform that focuses on fiscal analysis, water conservation, tree protection and revisions of the Planning and Development Code. He has served on city boards and commissions for over 20 years. 

“I also have construction experience and a great deal of experience with road and mobility,” Ryan said. “Being that roads and mobility is one of our major challenges as we grow, my experience will be a very valuable asset.”

Maguire is a music education graduate student at the university and a former public school teacher who is putting her studies on pause to run for council. She is running on a platform of sustainable city development, affordable housing, environmental responsibility, government transparency and community health.

“Unlike my opponent, I have no ties to special interests in real estate development or any other industry,” Maguire said. “I will put the concerns of Denton residents first and the profits of developers second.”

Featured Image: The Gateway Center opens as a site for early voting in Denton, Texas on Oct. 23, 2020. Image by Quincy Palmer

Source: North Texas Daily

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