2012 Dallas County Candidate Update

Categories: Political Commentary • Published on February 8, 2012 at 9:28 PM

While speculation and bargaining continue for how the 2012 maps for Congress, State Senate, and State House will look, I wanted to take some time to look at the contested Democratic Primary races in Dallas based on current filings. Once the maps are finalized, I will post another article discussing changes we get when the filing period reopens for a brief period of time.  It should also be noted that this article will be discussing only races contained solely within Dallas County and not any statewide or multi-county campaigns.  All tables in this article are sorted by Contributions in descending order.

United States Congress, District 30

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson is currently serving her 10th term (20 years), and is actively campaigning for another term in office. So far two candidates have risen to challenge Congresswoman Johnson in Democratic Primary. State Representative Barbara Mallory-Caraway (HD-110) filed for a ballot position, along with Taj Clayton who is a litigator at international law firm Fish and Richardson.

It should be noted that only the below table only looks at reporting period totals between 10/1/2011 to 12/31/2011.

Candidate –Contributions– –Cash On Hand– –Expenditures–
Taj Clayton $212,653.74 $195,811.03 $16,842.71
Eddie Bernice Johnson $95,186.50 $228,522.70 $74,229.05
Barbara Mallory-Caraway $15,741.00 $413.92 $22,799.16

 

Texas State Legislature

In theory, State House Districts 110 and 107 should be hot primary races. The ongoing issue regarding our maps is putting all of that into question, however. Regardless of how the maps come out, District 110 will be a hot race because it will be to replace Barbara Mallory-Caraway as she runs for Congress. HD-110 is a safe Democratic district with a large African-American population. Right now there are three candidates for HD-110, but this could easily change depending on how those maps lines come out. Once the maps for 2012 have been finalized, I will put together a follow-up article discussing who is and who is not running for each State House district in Dallas County.

District Judge, 162nd Judicial District

The 162nd Judicial District has been held by Lorraine Raggio since her initial election in 2004. Judge Raggio announced her retirement, several candidates have announced or filed for this seat.

Candidate –Contributions– –Cash On Hand– –Expenditures–
Maricela Moore $115,651.00 $71,020.80 $44,130.20
Teresa Guerra Snelson $81,238.35 $34,244.22 $46,994.13
David Diaz $16,044.00 $1,719.59 $7,402.53
Phyllis Lister Brown $4,255.00 $295.34 2958.66
Scott Perry $3,576.52 $429.64 $3,382.43
Baltasar D. Cruz $0.00 $0.00 $334.67

Phyllis Lister Brown is currently a municipal judge in the City of Dallas. According to the city charter, city appointees and elected officials must resign their position when seeking higher office. Judge Brown has argued that she does not have to do so given past precedence of when municipal Judge Elizabeth Frizell ran in 2006 for higher office. Dallas City Council voted on January 18 to remove Phyllis from office. Phyllis’ lawyers filed a restraining order against the removal, and the city attorney appealed this order. Now it appears that this will be going to court to decide whether Judge Brown gets to keep her seat on the municipal bench or be removed. (See Judge Phyllis Lister Brown Will Soon Get a Shove Off the Bench or a Day in Court)

In the interest of transparency, it should be noted that I am working with Maricela Moore in this race.

Criminal District Judge, Count No. 4

John Creuzot is the incumbent judge for Criminal District Court 4, and has served since 2008. Judge Creuzot has indicated that he will be retiring and not seeking re-election. So far two candidates (JR Cook and Dominique Collins) have filed to run for this seat. Races for the criminal bench tend to be low dollar affairs compared to their judicial counterparts in Civil Court (i.e. 162nd Judicial Court).

Candidate –Contributions– –Cash On Hand– –Expenditures–
JR Cook $18,380.00 $8,059.38 $11,954.13
Dominique Collins $14,602.37 $1,294.00 $10,311.00

In the interest of transparency, it should be noted that I am working with JR Cook in this race.

Sherriff

In 2008, Lupe Valdez solidly won re-election in both Primary and General elections. Sherriff Valdez has remained very popular in local Democratic circles. In 2011, Dallas County Jails passed inspection for the 2nd year in a row, which was a top issue for Republicans and other opponents in 2008. An individual named Charlie J. Thomas has filed to run against Lupe in the Democratic Primary, but I have no information about his candidacy at this time.

County Commissioner, District 1

In 2010, Democrats gained majority on the Dallas County Commissioner’s Court, and have subsequently redistricted District 1 to be a Democratic-opportunity district. This seat is currently held by Maurine Dickey who along with her husband owns the Dickey’s BBQ franchise. Originally, it was rumored that there were over 7 potential candidates interested in running. Since the map was finalized, that number has now sized itself down to 3.

Candidate –Contributions– –Cash On Hand– –Expenditures–
Theresa Daniel $27,545.00 $14,176.26 $13,368.72
Daniel Clayton $2,300.00 $131.05 $3,741.36
Gloria T. Levario $1,500.00 $231.95 $1,268.95

In the interest of transparency, it should be noted that I am working with Theresa Daniel in this race.

County Commissioner, District 3

Commissioner District 3 had been held by John Wiley Price since 1985. On June 27, 2011, FBI agents searched Commissioner Price’s offices and home, and were looking for documents relating to fraud, bribery, money laundering, and tax evasion allegations (See Commissioner John Wiley Price’s Office, Home Searched). The investigation is still ongoing, and no charges have been filed against Commissioner Price. Commissioner Price has drawn three opponents in the upcoming 2012 Primary.

Candidate –Contributions– –Cash On Hand– –Expenditures–
John Wiley Price $9,200.00 $???? $27,662.50
Bennie Brown $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Betty Culbreath Did not file Jan 15 finance report
Micah B. Phillips Did not file Jan 15 finance report

While Bennie Brown did file the required January 15 campaign finance report, they failed to mention the $1,250 filing fee paid to the Dallas County Democratic Party in the campaign finance report. According to Dallas County Elections Department, neither Betty Culbreath nor Micah B. Phillips filed their January 15 campaign finance reports. All candidates are required to file campaign finance reports on January 15 and July 15 each year as long as they have a treasurer appointment on file.

Commissioner Price wrote “N/A” under the Cash On Hand line item for his campaign finance report, which is why I left question marks under that section.

DCDP County Chair

In a previous article, I had mentioned that an individual named Lymon King was looking to run for County Chair. Mr. King has since decided against running in 2010, and made this announcement through a robocall to his supporters. No one else has indicated about a run for County Chair so it appears that Darlene Ewing will be starting a fourth term, which she announced will be her last as County Chair.

Unopposed Countywide Races

Here is the list of countywide offices up for re-election in 2012 that so far do not have a primary opponent.

Dallas County Elected Office Incumbent
District Judge, 14th Judicial District Eric V. Moye
District Judge, 95th Judicial District Ken Molberg
Criminal District Judge, Court No 2 Don Adams
Criminal District Judge, Court No 3 Gracie Lewis
County Tax Assessor-Collector John R. Ames
County Chair (Primary Only) Darlene Ewing