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Roebuck announces campaign for City Council; Christmas Railway producer on track for City Hall


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A local filmmaker has announced his campaign for the Roswell City Council, running for the seat being vacated by City Councilor Natasha N. Mackey as she runs for mayor.

Jacob Roebuck said if elected to represent Ward 1, he will focus on improving quality of life for all residents, promoting government and private sector partnerships and preserving the values of the people of Roswell.

“I believe Roswell’s current positive momentum is an opportunity for real, lasting change,” Roebuck said in a news release issued Tuesday. “I want to offer my services to the community to help make Roswell into a world-class city.”

Ward 1 lies in the geographic center of Roswell, principally south of College Boulevard and north of McGaffey Street, and generally west of Atkinson Avenue and east of Union Avenue. Mackey and City Councilor Juan Oropesa currently represent the ward. Oropesa ran unopposed for a four-year term in 2016.

Roebuck shot his first movie, “Coyote County Loser,” in Roswell in 2007. He has produced several films in Roswell since moving to the city in 2011. He may be best known in the city for producing the first Roswell Christmas Railway in 2016, which saw over 12,000 guests in its first season at the Spring River Park & Zoo.

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“The Christmas Railway is a great example of how our community can come together to do great things,” Roebuck said. “We brought local businesses, artists, performers and the city together to create a family holiday attraction that was desperately needed. I hope to bring this kind of collaborative, outside-the-box thinking to City Council.”

Roebuck, an active member of Calvary Chapel of Roswell, and his wife, Laura, also spearhead Royal Family KIDS of Roswell, a ministry that serves foster kids by providing a summer camp experience for forgotten children.

City Councilor Tabitha Denny, a volunteer for the camp, said in Roebuck’s news release that Roebuck has a gift for bringing the community together to solve problems.

“With RFK, Jacob got churches, businesses and state government to work together to make a real difference for those in our community without a voice,” said Denny, who is also up for re-election in March, but has not yet publicly announced her intention.

Roebuck becomes the fourth city councilor to announce his or her campaign intentions, following Ward 2 incumbent Caleb Grant’s announcement last month that he would seek a second four-year term; Mackey’s announcement in August that she would run for mayor, becoming the first African-American mayoral candidate in the city’s 126-year history; and Ward 4 incumbent Jason Perry’s announcement Monday he will resign from the City Council on or before Jan. 11 because he and his family are moving out of the ward into a larger home. Perry said he will not run for a different City Council seat in the upcoming municipal elections.

Ward 3 incumbent Art Sandoval also has have not yet publicly announced their intentions.

Mayor Dennis Kintigh, former Mayor Del Jurney and former Marine Sergio Gonzalez are also running for mayor.

The mayor’s position and five of the 10 City Council seats are up for election in March. The filing day for municipal candidates is Jan. 9. The nonpartisan elections are March 6, with early voting beginning Feb. 14.

“Strong families are the foundation of a healthy city,” said Roebuck, 42, who before his film career, worked for Apple, did marketing for nonprofits, and owned a small marketing firm. “When families fall apart, so do communities.”

This is Roebuck’s first campaign for public office. He said he loves the people and pace of life in Roswell.

“I’m not a politician,” he told the Daily Record Tuesday. “I am not trying to build a political career. I want to make Roswell a better place for my kids.”

Roebuck said his top goals are to improve the downtown area, increase tourism and grow the local economy.

“I hope that, in my own small way, I can help bring the great people and resources together to really improve the quality of life in the community,” Roebuck said. “What I’ve discovered about Roswell is that there is a lot of potential here — I hope that when I’m on the City Council, I can really help.

“The key thing is we’ve got to figure out ways to grow our economy. So much is based on that.”

Roebuck said if he should be challenged for the Ward 1 seat, he’s ready for a campaign.

“I think I’ve got a message that will resonate with folks,” he said.

City reporter Alison Penn contributed to this report. Editor Jeff Tucker can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 303, or at editor@rdrnews.com.