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Woodfork enters mayoral contest

Profile image for By John D. Harden / Staff Writer
By John D. Harden / Staff Writer

A third candidate has decided to enter the race for the mayor’s seat in Denton.

Donna Woodfork, 44, a radio host, will make her second try for the job after failing to grab enough votes in 2012. Woodfork says she’s confident of victory this time because she has a team of supporters that will help her promote her platform and help distribute information throughout the community.

Woodfork will be opposing Jean Schaake, 70, an associate dean at the University of North Texas; and Chris Watts, 52, an attorney and real estate developer, in the May 10 municipal and school election.

Outgoing Mayor Mark Burroughs cannot run again, having served the maximum amount permitted under the City Charter. He served three consecutive terms as mayor and previously on the council.

In 2012, Woodfork netted 290 votes — 7.6 percent of the ballots in the mayoral election — but said she isn’t expecting a repeat of that performance.

Not much has changed regarding her priorities since 2012.She said she continues to campaign as someone who can listen and relate to all residents, including those who feel insignificant in society.

Woodfork said she supported increased regulation on gas drilling to protect residents’ health and the environment but also respects landowners’ rights.

“If you were to Google my name, they would see that I’ve been involved, trying to represent and give a voice to the everyday person,”she said. “My qualifications as mayor are proven by all of my activities in Denton.”

Woodfork said she wants to work to make sure the city is prepared for the growth that’s expected to follow the completion of the Interstate 35E expansion, and she said she wants to pursue efforts to help the city’s homeless population.

In 2013, Woodfork ran for a place on the Denton school board. During that race, she said she was interested in making changes concerning children with learning and physical disabilities. She added that she also wanted to help decrease the number of school dropouts.

The last day candidates can file for a place on the May ballot is Friday. Residents who need to register to vote in the May 10 election must do so by April 10.

Early voting begins April 28.

JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter at @JDHarden.