election

Dallas mayoral candidates Scott Griggs (left) and Eric Johnson (right) will face off in a runoff election in June.

With nine candidates vying to become the next mayor of Dallas, it was a foregone conclusion that there would be a runoff. But that doesn’t mean election night wasn’t without its surprises.

Early on, despite the crowded field, Johnson and Griggs stayed ahead of the field, with Johnson maintaining about 20 percent of the vote, and Griggs hovering between 17 and 18 percent. Mike Ablon and Lynn McBee remained clustered around the 14 percent mark for much of the night, rounding out the top four contenders.

At a watch party, a smiling Johnson told supporters that he and wife Tanika were on their way home to see their children, because tomorrow “starts the first day of the new campaign.” (more…)

electionsThe cutoff to file to run for the Dallas city council, Dallas mayor, and Dallas ISD trustee seats open was 5 p.m. Feb. 15, and with 64 people total filing paperwork for the May elections, there are two things we can tell you for certain: Some races will likely resemble the Thunderdome, and you’ll be needing to head to the polls twice, because some of these races will undoubtedly land in a runoff.

So who’s running? We’re providing a list below. Bear in mind this list is in alphabetical order, not the order they will appear on the ballot, because that is done by drawing and will happen in a few days.

The mayoral race has drawn 12 candidates — real estate developer Mike Ablon, Oak Cliff businessman Albert Black, Dallas city council member Scott Griggs, State Rep. Eric Johnson, former Socialist Workers Party presidential candidate Alyson Kennedy, philanthropist Lynn McBee, civic leader Regina Montoya, Dallas resident, Heriberto Ortiz, Dallas resident Miguel Patino, environmentalist Stephen Smith, Dallas ISD trustee Miguel Solis, and former state representative Jason Villalba. Ortiz, Patino, and Smith’s petition signatures have not been qualified at press time.

And Jon gave us a sneak preview of the surprise filing of Laura Miller, who will challenge incumbent Jennifer Staubach Gates for the District 13 seat, we now know who the rest of the names on area ballots will be, too. Ready? Let’s jump. (more…)

Last night I broke the story on D Magazine of former Dallas Mayor Laura Miller’s apparent last-minute run for District 13’s council seat against incumbent Jennifer Gates. To review, I received an email inviting Athena condo residents to stop by HOA president Georgia Sue Black’s home to sign Miller’s petition. Candidates need 25 signatures to register as a candidate.

We checked at 3:30 p.m., and Miller had indeed filed the preliminary paperwork to be a candidate.

One reason (and perhaps the only) Miller seems to be running is her staunch opposition to any redevelopment in the area. Certainly, she’s been against every zoning case I’ve been aware of – outside area mansion add-ons – Highland House, sky bridge, Laurel apartments, St. Michael’s and all Angels, Pink Wall’s PD-15, etc..

The photo above was snapped in front of the 21-story Athena condos on Northwest Highway. Originally, these signs were near the St. Michael’s Frederick Square project. Coincidentally, Miller’s Campaign Treasurer is Doug Deason, the son of Darwin Deason who owns an 18,000 square foot condo on Douglas Avenue in back of the church’s proposed development.

Behind the Pink Wall, the irony of high-rise residents opposing any others is missed by a mile by residents. It smacks of a 2017 case where Toll Brothers sought approval for a high-rise in a high-rise-zoned area of Oak Lawn.  In that case, residents of The Plaza I & II high rises were bitterly opposed and equally oblivious to their own hypocrisy.

Now that Miller has filed, one imagines she can slap “Vote Laura Miller” on the “No More Towers” signs pockmarking the neighborhood.

(more…)

Photo courtesy Dallas ISD

Pretty much immediately after former WFAA-reporter-cum-political-candidate Brett Shipp posted that it appeared Dallas ISD school board trustee Jaime Resendez didn’t live in his district, we started poking around, too.

Probably just like everyone else.

And the Dallas Morning News did a few stories. Shipp continuously tweets about it. And we continued to quietly try to figure out what in the Sam Hill was going on, and let me tell ya, if you read all those stories, it’s still confusing.

What we do know: Resendez moved out of his District 4 sometime in the late summer/early fall of 2017. According to the Dallas Central Appraisal District, the deed to the home on Mission Hills Lane, which is just a few blocks out of District 4, transferred to Resendez from the seller on Aug. 30, 2017.

He also did not claim a homestead exemption on the property. (more…)

ElectionWith less than 500 votes separating Joanna Cattanach and Republican incumbent Morgan Meyer in the State House 108 race, the outcome of the race will continue to be uncertain for a few more days.

With all the precincts in — but not all the provisional and mail-in ballots counted — Meyer is currently ahead of Cattanach by 440 votes — the slimmest of margins. The 108th includes the Park Cities and parts of Dallas.

Meyer, an attorney, is considered to be a moderate Republican of the Joe Straus’ vein. Cattanach, a college professor, spoke candidly during the campaign of her experiences as a foster child and her advocacy for women and children.

“Every vote matters and we are determined to make sure the correct outcome of this race includes all ballots including provisional and mail-in ballots,” campaign spokesperson Jacob Limon said Wednesday evening. “As such, our campaign will work with the County elections department until ALL ballots are counted.” (more…)

NobodyNow I know you’re probably already squawking — I can hear it from here — about this “Nobody” business in this headline. “NOBODY? Record turnout, lady, in early voting — how is that NOBODY votes?”

But hear me out.

If nobody votes, then Nobody will win. And that’s not just brain-breaking hyperbole that the grammarian in me is grappling with. Cartographers Philip Kearney and Jim Herries used Census data to plot nonvoters, and made a really not-ground-breaking-at-all discovery: Nobody (if Nobody was a candidate) would’ve beaten the pants off Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the last election.

In fact, Nobody would’ve won 445 electoral votes to Trump’s 21 and Clinton’s 72.

To make the editor in me happy, though, can we just say that when people don’t vote, Nobody the Candidate wins?

Now yes, early voting turnout statewide has been incredible. And seriously, even though the lines were long occasionally, voting early is quite possibly the easiest way we currently have available to vote — you can go anywhere in the county, line up, cast your ballot, and walk back out, possibly with a cool new sticker.

In the 30 counties in Texas that contain the bulk of the state’s registered voters, turnout for early voting exceeded the election turnout for the entire 2014 midterm election, data compiled by the Texas Tribune showed.

In Dallas County, there are 1,335,313 registered voters this election, and 529,521 cast their votes early, or 39 percent, compared to 214,312 in 2014. In Tarrant County, 465,817 of the county’s 1,122,597 registered voters (or 41.5 percent) voted early. In Collin County, almost half (49.4 percent) of the county’s 579,893 registered voters voted early. Forty-six percent of Denton County’s 497,490 voters have already cast ballots. (more…)

Dallas City Hall

Dallas City Hall will host the Dallas Homeowners League Boot Camp on Saturday, Aug. 15.

Ever wondered who to call when the storm drain starts to flood your street, how you can facilitate historic preservation, or what ways you can support your neighborhood Dallas ISD campuses?

You can answer these questions and more on Saturday during the annual Dallas Homeowners League Boot Camp. The event held from 8:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Dallas City Hall will also include a panel discussion moderated by Dallas Morning News reporter Robert Wilonsky on what neighborhoods need to do in today’s changing urban environment. Expect a lively back-and-forth from panelists Monte Anderson of Options Real Estate, housing expert Mercedes Marquis urban planner and blogger Patrick Kennedy, and D Magazine founder Wick Allison.

Jump to find out how to register.

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John Wiley Price's Home at 406 E. 5th Street in North Oak Cliff

John Wiley Price’s Home at 510 E. 5th Street in North Oak Cliff

John Wiley Price was arrested this morning at 8 a.m. on an FBI indictment alleging bribery, mail fraud, tax fraud, and other crimes associated with influence peddling. Co-defendants in the 107-page indictment, which was released this morning, include longtime assistant to Price Dapheny Fain and political consultant Kathy Nealy. A fourth defendant, Christian Lloyd Campbell, was also named in the document.

Price’s attorney, Billy Ravkind, was stunned by this morning’s arrest, alleging that neither he nor his client knew that the indictment was coming out today. Jim Schutze thinks that this means that there is no cooperation coming from Price or his associates, or that a crucial player has recently opted to flip to federal authorities. We’re certain that things will become more clear after the U.S. Attorney addresses the media later today, and as the days and weeks progress.

One thing is certain: a lot of real assets will likely get caught up in this arrest and indictment, one that is swiftly becoming the biggest public corruption case Dallas has ever seen. Price currently resides at 510 E. 5th Street in North Oak Cliff, which was raided by the FBI almost three years ago to the day, but he was listed as owner for several other properties, too. Agents found more than $229,000 in cash inside Price’s home during the June 2011 raid, which also targeted Fain and Nealy’s homes and offices.

(more…)