With the drawing for ballot order scheduled for Friday, Feb. 24, the center lanes of that ballot for the Dallas City Council election in May are piling up with candidates. It appears Dallas is headed for several hotly contested council races as 11 districts feature at least two candidates. Two races include seasoned veterans coming back around for a repeat run on the council.
The Dallas City Council may look a lot different depending on the results of the election. Technically, it is possible to see a complete makeover of the faces running the local municipal government.
All but three seats on the city council are being contested. The only “safe” council members are Adam McGough (Place 10), Sandy Greyson (Place 12) and Jennifer Staubach Gates (Place 13). The unopposed races are all taking place in northern Dallas districts.
In total there are 38 candidates vying for a seat on the Dallas City Council in the May 6 election. Prospective city council members face a number of issues of contention in the city. Concerns over the future of Fair Park (located in and among the more heavily-contested council districts), financial worries coming from various city employee groups and civic commissions and an upcoming bond program could make for interesting points of contention.
On the south side, where the heaviest races are being run, changes in streets, the gentrification of Oak Cliff and the ever-present concern over the future of the Trinity River, which has long been eyed for public parks and a future transportation route to ease traffic congestion through the heart of the downtown area. The southern sector of Dallas has been of particular interest for Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings in his time in office.
Council members Monica R. Alonzo (District 6), Tiffinni A. Young (District 7) and Erik Wilson (District 8) face a flock of challengers as of the filing deadline on Feb. 17.
In Place 6, Alonzo was originally up against six opponents, though only five will appear on the ballot. She is running for reelection against Tony Carrillo, Gilbert N. Cerda, Alex S. Dickey, Omar Fermin Narvaez and Linus Lynell Spiller.
Young also faces five challengers in Place 7. Adam Bazaldua, Marvin E. Crenshaw, Kevin D. Felder, Tammy L. Johnston and James Clyde Turknett have filed paperwork seeking the seat.
Wilson is up against four other candidates in his race to maintain Place 8 on the city council. He is being challenged by Tennell Atkins, Moctezuma Seth Gonzalez, Gail Terrell and Eric L. Williams.
Alonzo’s district (Place 6) runs along the western side of the city. Young (Place 7) and Wilson (Place 8) represent districts in the southern zone of the city.
These certainly are not the only opposed races going into the May city council election. In Place 3, incumbent Casey Thomas, II faces both Joe Lawrence Tave and – pending eligibility review – Sandra Crenshaw. In Place 14, incumbent Philip T. Kingston is up against challengers Kim E. Welch and Mathew Curtis Wood.
In Place 1, incumbent Scott Griggs will be running against Stephen L. Winn. In Place 2 incumbent Adam Medrano faces Brian F. Ostrander. In Place 4 incumbent Carolyn King Arnold is being challenged by Dwaine R. Caraway. In Place 9 incumbent Mark Clayton is being challenged by Arthur L. Adams, Jr. Finally, in Place 11, incumbent Lee M. Kleinman will run against Mary Candace Evans.
Two former Dallas council members are seeking to make a return to city government. Tennell Atkins and Dwaine R. Caraway are both heavy campaigners who can be expected to make a strong run for their seats. Caraway is going head-to-head with Carolyn King Arnold, a city council candidate he has supported in the past. Atkins is challenging Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Wilson in the crowded five-candidate race taking place for District 8.
While certainly, the more heavily contested, the Dallas City Council is not the only local governing body coming up for election. The Dallas Independent School District Board of Trustees will also be going through an election process as well.
In the Dallas ISD school board election there are three seats up for vote, with two of them being opposed. Miguel Solis is running unopposed for District 8. Incumbent Joyce Foreman is facing a challenge from Phelesha Hamilton, and in District 2, incumbent Dustin Marshall is being challenged by Lori Kirkpatrick and Richard Young.
One of the top issues facing potential candidates in the school board election could be the school board’s recent failure to go to the citizens with a vote for a 13-cent tax hike. The revenues were sought by school administration for the expansion of existing successful programs in under-performing schools and PreK programs. After the board decided not to move forward with the election, a new school board president was immediately voted in.
Along with the city, the Dallas ISD board elections will be held on May 6.