North Texas Daily

Gerard Hudspeth, son of Willie Hudspeth, vies for city council District 1 seat

Gerard Hudspeth, son of Willie Hudspeth, vies for city council District 1 seat

At the Denton City Council meet-and-greet, District one candidate Gerard Hudspeth (left) introduces himself to school teacher and Denton resident Gary Hayden (right). The event, held Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017, hosted both Hudspeth and District three candidate Paul Meltzer. Katie Jenkins

Gerard Hudspeth, son of Willie Hudspeth, vies for city council District 1 seat
February 19
18:08 2017

With four open seats in the Denton city council and a May 6 election day, many are rushing to apply. But in January, Gerard Hudspeth announced he’d run for District 1.

A graduate of Denton High School in 1991, Hudspeth is currently on the Planning and Zoning Committee in Denton. As an advocate for the city he has spent his whole life in, he’s volunteered with Court Appointed Special Advocates for children, Leadership Denton and completed the City of Denton Police Academy and the FBI Citizens Academy.

Being so involved in the community allowed him a closer look into the people and issues facing the city. He said bridging the gap between city council and residents is just one of the things he will attempt accomplish if elected.

He said transparency in council, an ethics ordinance, public safety and infrastructure are all top priorities for him and for residents.

Hudspeth said that he wants to represent the people who feel underrepresented and who feel like they could be treated better.

“I think there is a disconnect and I don’t think there is changes being made to better that disconnect,” Hudspeth said. “So I decided four years ago that I would target this election cycle and try to correct some of those things.”

The seat Hudspeth is vying for is currently held by Kevin Roden, who has reached his term limits. Roden, who had an ethics complaint filed against him by a resident in October 2016 that was eventually dismissed, was elected onto city council in May 2011, and is on the ethics committee.

Some issues in Denton that have been a main concern for residents recently include transparency within the city council, and if there should be an ethics ordinance.

Hudspeth said he thinks he has the unique skill-set to communicate with both sides, council and residents, and serve as their providers.

“I’ll make a real change, not just a 6-1 vote,” Hudspeth said. “I think citizens, rightfully so, are skeptical at what the city is doing. I’m hypersensitive that we as a city cannot take tax-payer money and tell the tax payers they don’t have a right to know where that money is going. That’s not right.”

Hudspeth’s father, Willie Hudspeth, is a regular at every city council meeting and work sessions on Tuesdays.

Being heavily involved with local politics, Willie said he and Gerard discussed the possible outcomes if Gerard is to be elected onto council, like complaints he regularly voices at council meetings.

But the Hudspeths agreed to not let their father-son relationship get in the way of politics, and they will not allow politics to influence their family matters.

“I said to him, ‘you know I’m down there every week explaining things that I don’t think are going well for the city,’ he said ‘yeah, dad I know,’” Willie said. “We will agree to disagree. Then I jokingly said that he is not invited to family dinner on Sundays anymore, he just laughed.”

Gerard said that he and his father discuss politics at least three to four times a week, and there are a lot of things they don’t agree on.

“Have you seen my dad at the [city council] meetings? It’s that conversation all day, every day at my dad’s house,” Gerard said. “He shaped me, but absolutely we are different. We have a different approach and tolerance, which is okay because we are from different generations. Outsiders and insiders brought together get the best of both worlds. He’s the outside and brings it to the inside to help the community. It’s those things you need, you can’t shut it out. We have the best of both worlds approach.”

Although they have different views on certain topics, Gerard said that they both have one goal: to make the city of Denton better.

Willie has been Gerard’s supporter throughout this race, from giving advice from his personal experiences running in the past, to walking the streets and making signs for him.

“He really impressed me with the way he communicates with all people in all areas with issues,” Willie said. “One thing he does that I’m impressed with it he will listen to people, counter argue, and then he will end up with what his final thought is and tell them why he agrees or disagrees and why. I just say I don’t agree with you and I’m done and will move on. He will take a lot of effort to communicate what he is going to do and why.”

Gerard said that being on the Planning and Zoning Committee, Gerard helps guide him through problems in Denton and understands how local government works.

Another thing Gerard would tackle is making the City Council meetings  more accessible to residents.

“A single mom needs to be able to attend these meetings, without having to leave her job early or sit in a meeting until midnight and kids miss their regular routine,” Gerard said. “People need to be able to attend their meetings that wants to, and it not be detrimental for them to do so. Staff is there all day. Time is valuable, you can’t buy more of it, and I want to treat it as such. There should be no wasted time.”

Featured Image: At the Denton City Council meet-and-greet, District one candidate Gerard Hudspeth (left) introduces himself to school teacher and Denton resident Gary Hayden (right). The event, held Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017, hosted both Hudspeth and District three candidate Paul Meltzer. Katie Jenkins

About Author

Julia Falcon

Julia Falcon

Related Articles

1 Comment

  1. Jusrice fo all
    Jusrice fo all September 17, 19:20

    A fake republican and effective race baiter. Gerald ran as a conservative but has shown his true colors. He now exists to help his father escape tockets with the city.

    Reply to this comment

Write a Comment

Search Bar

Sidebar Thumbnails Ad

Twitter Feed

North Texas Daily @ntdaily
‼️We're looking for illustrators! Like what you see? Contact @BrielleMThomas or @AustinBanzon about volunteering fo… https://t.co/AW92rgHMRs
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
THE DOSE: ‘Fetch the Bolt Cutters’ is a powerful statement on the connections we make with others 📝by… https://t.co/hCK26JAPfy
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
NEWS: SGA Vice President Deana Ayers speaks out against “toxic” dynamic among executive board members 📝by… https://t.co/ukCeMi8C5r
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
NEWS: GSC survey finds graduate students most concerned with academic, financial insecurity 📝by @BrookeColombo 📷by… https://t.co/ZjZIxVJtIH
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
NEWS: UNT awarded $29.01 million from CARES Act 📝by @BrookeColombo 📷by @ryanhalie https://t.co/H2GCbEHYLA
h J R

Sidebar Bottom Block Ad

Flytedesk Ad

Instagram