Mayoral, City Council District 2, Place 6 elections go into runoff

Article Originally Published by McKenna Cowley on North Texas Daily

Article Originally Published by McKenna Cowley on North Texas Daily

In the races for Denton mayor, District 2 and At Large Place 6, no candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote, sending the top two candidates into a runoff in December.

Mayor

The representative of District 2 since 2015, Keely Briggs, 45, led the election against Gerard Hudspeth and Michael Mitchell with 48.53 percent of the vote in an election with 51,129 votes, resulting in a runoff election.

Briggs has served on the Committee on Citizen Engagement, Community Justice Council and Economic Development Partnership Board.

“I am really grateful to everyone that voted,” Briggs said in an email to the North Texas Daily. “We are going to need the support and energy we had as we keep moving forward. We can do this.”

The representative of District 1 since 2017, current Mayor Pro Tem Hudspeth, 47, received 41.68 percent of the vote. Hudspeth previously served as a member of the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission, Agenda Committee and Economic Development Partnership board. 

“I’m excited about the runoff,” Hudspeth said. “I’m excited about the opportunity to still compete and gain the necessary votes to be the next mayor of my hometown.”

Mitchell, 40, is a delivery driver who has no known political experience. Mitchell received 9.79 percent of the vote.

Mitchell said in an email to the Daily he was surprised at and grateful for the support he received.

“I was not expecting anywhere near the 5,004 votes I got,” Mitchell said. “For a campaign with zero funding and someone who’s been homeless the majority of the year running, it’s been a pleasant surprise.”

Mitchell said he had concerns with the other candidates as they gear up for the runoff. Mitchell said while he believes Briggs has a big heart, he wonders if she plans to “try to put out every fire or will she actually address the problems with the systems we use.”

As for Hudspeth, Mitchell said the city doesn’t need “more outside influence.”

“We need to take the reins ourselves and not let the city be guided by those with the most money to throw at it,” Mitchell said. 

The Denton Record-Chronicle reported Hudspeth receiving about three times as much as Briggs in campaign contributions. Hudspeth received PAC contributions while Briggs did not.

City Council District 1

In an election with 8,600 votes, Birdia Johnson, 62, won the seat for District 1 with 64.02 percent of the vote.

Birdia is a member of Denton’s MLK Jr. Recreation Center Advisory Board and is the president of the city’s Juneteenth committee. Johnson ran on a platform of equality, transparency and integrity. 

Hudspeth said in an interview with the Daily he wanted to congratulate Johnson, who will fill his vacant seat.

Birdia ran against George Michael Ferrie Jr., former owner of Wine Squared, a Denton wine bar that closed permanently in July. Ferrie Jr., 33, who is a member of the Denton Parks, Recreation and Beautification Board and is involved with Denton’s OUTreach program, received 35.98 percent of the vote. 

City Council District 2

In a race with 11,928 votes, Connie Baker took the lead with 28.65 percent of the vote and Ronnie Anderson was close behind with 28.18 percent of the vote, sending the candidates into a runoff.

Anderson is the administrator for the Denton County Clerk’s office, while Baker is the former Denton Constable Pct and Deputy Constable.

Paralegal Kady Irene Finley followed with 17.85 percent of the vote, commercial photographer Jon Hohman received 13.88 percent, and Keep Denton Beautiful and PTA volunteer Daniel Clanton received 11.44 percent. 

City Council At Large Place 5

Incumbent for Place 5 Deb Armintor won the seat with 55.94 percent of the vote against Rick Baria in an election with 49,317 votes. 

“We won last night in the Denton City Council race for At Large Place 5,” Armintor said in a tweet Wednesday morning. “And by ‘we,’ I mean We the People [SIC].”

According to the Denton Record-Chronicle and her campaign website, Armintor ran on a platform of environmentalism and reimagining economic development, local representation and public health and safety. 

Rick Baria received 44.06 percent of the vote. His campaign was focused on infrastructure, public safety and economic development. 

City Council At Large Place 6

With no candidate receiving a majority of the vote, Incumbent Paul Meltzer, 59, and Jim Mann, 51, will head to a runoff election.

Meltzer led the race with 44.89 percent of the vote. Mann, who is a lead pastor at New Life Church and an associate professor of New Testament at Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity, followed with 42.16 percent. Liam York received 12.95 percent. 

Sheriff 

Incumbent Tracy Murphee won against write-in opponent Freyja Odinsdottir, receiving 94.34 percent of votes in an election with 295,873 votes. 

Former marine veteran and Denton jailer Odinsdottir received 5.66 percent of votes. 

Courtesy City of Denton, Twitter

Source: North Texas Daily