March 8, 2011
In the interest of full disclosure, this website is run by Kevin Roden.
With only a few days before the filing deadline for the May 14 Denton City Council elections, the race to see who will replace three-term veteran Charlye Heggins for her District 1 seat just got a bit wider. There are now four candidates for the position – Eli Gemini (a local commentator), Damon Bullock (a TWU grad student), Gerard Hudspeth (an account executive for an Irving legal support company), and Kevin Roden (educator and Chair of the Historic Landmark Commission).
Hudspeth ran against Heggins during the 2007 campaign in which Heggins won. Hudspeth garned 119 votes to Heggins’ 214.
This is Roden’s first attempt at elected office, though he is no stranger to the Denton political scene. Roden was appointed by Councilwoman Heggins to serve on the city’s 2009 City Charter committee charged with reviewing the term limit language. Soon after, he was appointed by then-Councilman Joe Mulroy to serve on the city’s Historic Landmark Commission. After a year of service on the Commission, Roden was elected to serve as the Chair person by the other members of the Commission.
Roden founded THINKDENTON.com in March of 2010 in order to serve as a spot to highlight and comment on interesting news, ideas, reflections, and happenings around Denton. The website also serves the dual purpose of promoting the popular Drink and Think series of community discussions which are hosted at the historic Roden home on Texas Street and have been attended by thousands of locals over the last ten years. During the 2010 City Council race, THINKDENTON.com provided the community with some of the most up-to-date coverage and commentary of the candidates and the race. Attempting new ways to draw a younger demographic into the political discussion, Roden met with each of the candidates for a very lo-fi videotaped interview in his third floor library and called it, “Interviews in the Attic.”
The website quickly became an avenue for community advocacy when in the summer of 2010, Roden broke the news that the Denton County Transportation Authority made plans to do away with earlier-promised evening and weekend rail service for the upcoming A-Train. The coverage he provided through THINKDENTON.com served as a catalyst for swift and constant community pressure. After months of debate and controversy, the DCTA Board finally agreed to additional rail service last Fall, including later Friday evening and all day Saturday.
It is through his constant engagement with the Denton community where Roden has learned the best part of Denton – her citizens. Read more about Kevin Roden’s campaign by visiting his website at http://rodenfordenton.com and by following him on Twitter @KevinRoden