Mayor Del Jurney shakes hands with City Clerk Sharon Coll after signing his official election paperwork to become a candidate for re-election, Tuesday afternoon, at City Hall. (Jill McLaughlin Photo)
Several new candidates filed to run for City Council Tuesday against incumbents in Wards 1 through 5. The only candidate who will run unopposed will be Councilor Jason Perry.
Councilor Dusty Huckabee will face candidate Natasha Mackey in Ward 1. Candidates Caleb Grant, Jerry Heck and James Andrew MacCornack will run for the open seat, now held by Councilor Jimmy Craig, in Ward 2. Councilor Art Sandoval will face businessman Joe Green in Ward 3. Councilor Barry Foster will run against Tabitha Denny, owner of Crossfit Vision, in Ward 5, and Mayor Del Jurney will seek a second term as mayor against opponent and former State Legislator Dennis Kintigh.
Jurney filed for re-election before noon, after attending a session with the region’s state representatives to discuss funding for projects in the upcoming legislative session.
“I decided a long time ago,” Jurney said. “Over the past [auth] four years, we’ve done a great many things. We’ve accomplished the things we’ve set out to do. We’ve covered the gamut, I think, in those issues that were important to us four years ago. As we continue to work as a team, this community together, we’ll continue to grow. I want to continue to be a part of that.”
Jurney said during his administration, the city’s businesses have created hundreds of jobs and growth and prosperity is where the city needs to be.
“Over the next four years, now we start to take on the wealth and quality of life issues,” Jurney said. “The emphasis for the next four years will be: Let’s keep the businesses coming. Let’s continue to work closely with them. Let’s see how we can take that newfound wealth and take care of the needs of the community.”
Jurney pointed to the strides the city has made with boosting the police force and economic growth. He brings experience in business, real estate and banking, he said. He hopes to continue the momentum he and the city have built over the past four years, he said.
“Our sights have now been elevated and we can accomplish what we need to do in the next four years. And it will put Roswell in the position that will not be the falling community that we’ve seen in the past 20 years, but one of the rising stars and contributors in this state,” Jurney said. “I believe we’re better than we were four years ago, but I also believe we’re not as good as we will be four years from now, depending on how this election process plays out.”
Mayoral candidate Dennis Kintigh said filing his papers Tuesday was an event he looked forward to.
“I believe Roswell needs to get going again,” Kintigh said. “Roswell’s become stagnant. We need to create jobs that our young people need. We need to create the quality of life that the citizens desire.”
Kintigh said he would focus on solutions to crime. “If one person is hurt, we are all hurt,” he said. “We’ve got to confront the issue. We have a drug problem.”
The next eight weeks would be an intense time, he said. He plans to knock on doors throughout the city during his campaign.
“Now, the campaign starts,” Kintigh said. “Now is the time. Now we’ve got to get out to the people to answer the questions of the citizens of this city.”
Perry, who brought his 3-year-old son, Josiah, with him to City Hall at the end of the day, said he was honored to see that his neighbors had not put forward a competing candidate against him.
“I’m proud to be able to serve the citizens for another four years,” Perry said. “I’m honored that the people of my ward have faith in my ability to represent them with integrity and honesty, and with values.”
Sandoval, who will run against Green, said the filing day was exciting.
It’s an exciting day. We have an opponent in Ward 3,” Sandoval said. “I know his family really well. I’m going to continue to work with my constituents in a positive fashion in the community and run a clean campaign and go forward from here to move the City of Roswell forward.”
Green, who filed at 4 p.m., did not want to comment about his background.
Foster said he was pleased with the accomplishments that he had been a part of during the past four years, especially with the new softball complex at the Wool Bowl, the new Missouri Avenue park, and the additional five positions in the police department.
“In the last four years, we’ve gotten a lot of things accomplished for the city, especially on the Parks and Recreation side,” Foster said. “I see so much more we can get done for the city to make it the best all-American city we can have.”
Foster will run against Denny, a newcomer to politics. Denny, who just returned to Roswell after 20 years, said she sees herself as an advocate for Roswell residents.
“I want to make a difference,” Denny said. “I want to see more jobs come in. I’m not a politician. The only way to make a difference is to jump right in and do it. I’ve been tossing around this idea for months.”
Denny said she thinks the city needs change and to step outside the box.
“You need to bring in fresh blood all the time,” Denny said.
City Clerk Sharon Coll said the elections filing went well.
“Everything went smoothly as far as the filing of the candidates,” Coll said. “There is still a lot of stuff to do but it’s rolling along.”
Coll will determine whether those who have filed are certified electors and post a certified list at 9 a.m. Thursday. At 5:01 p.m. that same day, she will conduct a drawing by lot for the position on the ballot.