Early this week, a hot and heavy discussion broke out on a Lakewood-centric Facebook page regarding the Dallas ISD district 2 runoff between Dustin Marshall and Mita Havlick. At the time, third place finisher (by only 50 votes) Suzanne Smith indicated that she preferred to stay publicly neutral.
That has apparently changed. This afternoon I received a call from the Marshall campaign to let me know that Smith had decided to publicly endorse Marshall after all.
An early indicator that the two were ideologically closely aligned was the fact that Marshall (post-election) adopted Smith’s action plan for the district that she rolled out during her campaign. He began including it in campaign materials shortly after he began tweeting it and using it in Facebook posts on his campaign site.
The two released a joint statement, which follows:
In a joint statement, Suzanne Smith announced today that she cast her ballot in the runoff election for Dustin Marshall. She fully endorsed Marshall’s candidacy and encouraged all of her supporters to get behind him as well.
Smith’s endorsement follows several public statements by Marshall indicating their shared belief in early childhood education, improved parental engagement, and a focus on social and emotional health. Several of these tenants were captured by Smith in her campaign “Action Plan” which Marshall has since used in his campaign material.
Smith stated, “Dustin has run a positive campaign focused on issues that matter to all of us. He has even wholeheartedly supported my Action Plan. This approach best mirrors my own and will ensure that we improve our schools for ALL children in District 2. While Mita has done a lot for her own neighborhood, her campaign has alienated many voters…her negative messaging is moving us in the wrong direction. We have to make sure the RIGHT person gets this job and leads us in the right direction. That person is my friend, Dustin Marshall.”
“I am humbled and honored to have Suzanne’s support,” stated Marshall. “Suzanne has been a great advocate for the kids of our city, and I appreciate her endorsement in this important runoff election. We share a common philosophy about how to improve educational outcomes for our kids. We both believe in recruiting, hiring, developing, measuring, and rewarding great teachers. I hope that Suzanne’s supporters will come out to the polls to show their support for this shared vision.”
Early voting continues through Tuesday, June 14. Election Day is Saturday, June 18. To access more about the district 2 race, click here.