The Dallas Morning News called the District 13 election results a “trounce” by incumbent Jennifer Gates against former Dallas Mayor Laura Miller. And at a commanding 66 percent to 34 percent, who am I to argue?

Delving into the precinct-level numbers, an interesting picture appears. Miller was a one-trick candidate, focusing her campaign on anti-development messaging surrounding Preston Center and the Pink Wall. As you can see in the map above, District 13 is a lot more than Preston Center. The myopathy of Miller’s message wasn’t lost on voters outside the Preston Center orbit. Oh, and constituents really like Gates. By contrast, Miller didn’t even win her own precinct, where neighbors voted for her opponent, two-to-one.

In total, Miller carried just three precincts within District 13 – essentially the Pink Wall and Preston Center along with a tiny precinct out by Marsh Lane and Walnut Hill (although not as tiny as the 16-vote precinct to its right that was one of two reporting a tie).

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At last night’s debate between District 13 Dallas City Council member Jennifer Gates and former Dallas Mayor Laura Miller, I fully expected the political point-scoring and backbiting that is politics. What I didn’t expect was the paucity of actual answers to questions. Part of that rests on moderator Tim Rogers for not calling out either candidate for being non-responsive to his questions. Each question was supposed to net both candidates 90 seconds to respond. With such a short time, you’d think they’d get to the meat of an answer. Not really.

Instead, we saw an hour of political brinksmanship with little hard substance from either candidate. One of two things was behind this – either they had no detailed answers, or more likely, those answers were thought to be unpalatable to voters. As you will read, I’m not afraid of unpalatable.

But before I go there, Miller’s opening remarks contained one of the few truthful moments. She described herself as someone of “action” compared to Gates’ “indecision.” While Miller meant this as a dig at Gates, I saw the opposite. Gates’ appearance of indecision comes from her wanting information to help guide a decision. For example, within PD-15,  Gates has spent two years trying to reach a compromise. Only after two committees devolved into factions did she finally ask city staff to come up with something.

Compare that to a quick-to-judge, uncompromising Miller, whom I’ve seen in action on the Preston Center Area Plan committee, the proposed Preston Center skybridge, Highland House, and now PD-15. She’s someone who doesn’t allow new information to cloud her initial judgment. I have the patience for those trying to learn more to get a better result.

In a more visceral display, before the debate, Laura Miller asked me to carry her suitcase to the stage (seen in photo) while Gates glad-handed me as she did many in the room.  To Gates, I was a constituent, to Miller, a lackey, apparently.

Roads are Bad and You Don’t Pay Enough Tax

The topic of roads came up … (more…)

Development, specifically the Pink Wall’s PD-15 and Saint Michael and All Angels’ plans for Frederick Square, are the crux of the District 13 city council race between incumbent Jennifer Gates and former Dallas Mayor Laura Miller. Sure, there are other nitpicks that include the Preston Center garage swizzled in, but that’s just a sideshow.

On April 18, after two years and two committees of dead-end meetings, the city’s recommendation for PD-15 rolls into City Plan Commission. The towers have arranged buses to take their protestors to City Hall (“Please bring a sack lunch”).  What are the possible outcomes?

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BURKGATES

The Dallas Real Estate Council made its recommendations for all contested Dallas City Council races, but there’s a bit of bitterness over the council’s choice in District 13.

Rudy Bush at the DMN’s Local Politics blog has the full story. Basically, by choosing Jennifer Staubach Gates over Leland Burk in District 13, the council showed that “the fix was in,” campaign manager Clayton P. Henry said. Staubach Gates’ husband, John Gates, is on the board of the Real Estate Council, Henry offered as evidence.

“Pulling strings will not sit well with the voters of District 13,” he added.

Folks on the sidelines see this race going down in a spending spree. Both candidates are heavyweights with big budgets and connections. Outgoing District 13 representative Ann Margolin has endorsed Leland Burk, and Jennifer Staubach Gates has a pedigree and connections that would take ages to sort through.

In District 14, Bobby Abtahi added another nod to his list of endorsements. (Full disclosure: Candy Evans, founder of CandysDirt.com, endorsed Abtahi for District 14.)

The Real Estate Council made no recommendation in District 4, wh

Other endorsements include:

District 1: Delia Jasso (incumbent)
District 2: Adam Medrano
District 3: Vonciel Hill (incumbent)
District 5: Rickey Callahan
District 6: Monica Alonzo (incumbent)
District 7: Carolyn Davis (incumbent)
District 8: Tennell Atkins (incumbent)
District 11: Lee Kleinman

Do you agree with the endorsements?