Election Day 101: Three Running for District 4

Photo courtesy Flickr/Michael Swan

Photo courtesy Flickr/Michael Swan

(Note: At the time of writing this story, Educate Dallas’ endorsements were not readily available. Since this morning, I received a press release regarding their endorsement for this race, and have updated the story throughout accordingly.)

Not to sound like a broken record, but the fact that three of the four races for school board trustee have more than two people running is incredible when you consider that in 2011, Dallas Independent School District canceled elections.

Today, we will take a look at the District 4 race. District 4 includes Balch Springs, Southeast Dallas, Seagoville, and Pleasant Grove. Omar Jiminez, Jaime Resendez, and Camille White are running for the spot currently held by Nancy Bingham, who announced she would not run for reelection.

And just as a reminder, I am breaking down each race and assigning a mathematical value to key endorsements for a final score. Because of the volume of candidates, I’ll be featuring one race a day through Sunday. Early voting begins Monday and lasts until May 3, with Election Day on May 7. For information on early voting, click here.

The scoring system goes a little something like this: Experience is assigned a number value of one. Endorsements should matter too, so each one those are also given a value of 1. I considered six sets of endorsements in this system, largely because the organizations providing them have a regular history of endorsing candidates. Those endorsements are The Dallas Morning News, Dallas Kids First, Educate Dallas, the NEA, Alliance AFT, and The Real Estate Council PAC.

In this race, there is no incumbent, so there will be a possible score of 6 (DMN, DKF, Educate Dallas, Alliance AFT, NEA, TREC).

The Candidates

OMARJIMINEZOmar Jiminez
Endorsements: None
Total score: 0/6
Omar Jiminez has an active presence on social media talking about Dallas ISD and is a frequent commenter on any story about the district. He expects to graduate in August from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and is employed as a host at the AT&T Performing Arts Center.

 

JAIMERESENDEZJaime Resendez
Dallas Kids First +1
Dallas Morning News +1
The Real Estate Council +1

Educate Dallas +1
Total score: 4/6
Jaime Resendez is a product of Dallas ISD, and in fact is a product of the very district he wants to serve, having graduated from Skyline High and grown up in Pleasant Grove. He is an Iraq War combat veteran and then worked his way through Eastfield Community College, the University of North Texas and the University of Texas as he earned a law degree. He has one child, who will attend school in the district this fall.

Screenshot 2016-04-21 at 10.20.12 PMCamille White
NEA +1
Alliance AFT +1
Total score: 2/6
Camille White is a realtor and a Dallas ISD parent. She has run for trustee before, as well as city council. According to a campaign document found in a Google search, Her family has lived in Pleasant Grove since 1989, and her three children have attended and graduated from Dallas ISD schools. She also is a current PTA board member for her local PTA and the Trinity Council of PTAs and has been an elected member of the Dallas County Democratic Executive committee for 10 years.

My two cents on District 4: As I said before, the fact that three people are willing to put themselves out there for an unpaid gig is pretty impressive. However, there is a reason Resendez is emerging at the top of the pack, and it’s largely because of his story and his reliance on data-driven policy. Too often (and look for a post about this post-election) I see candidates who really do not understand that school board trustees are not micromanagers, but are instead concerned with enacting policy for the entire district while advocating for their own district. It’s a tightrope that requires measure to do correctly. White has been a vocal opponent of many policies that most experts agree are a good roadmap for success, but she does have the backing of two teacher’s unions. After reviewing other interviews, I join other journalists in their concerns particularly regarding Jiminez, who has shown a remarkable blitheness in his disregard for actual facts when it comes to his discussions about Dallas ISD policy.

Tomorrow we will take a look at District 5. To review District 2, click here.