Bobby Abtahi Responds to D Magazine Criticism of His Name

In the June issue of D Magazine, we published an open letter to Bobby Abtahi, who is in a runoff with Philip Kingston for the District 14 seat. The election is June 15. We went to press before it was known that a runoff would be required. Our letter:

Dear Mr. Abtahi:

Congratulations! We have to admit we had our doubts when you entered the race for Angela Hunt’s soon-to-be-vacated District 14 seat at the horseshoe. You seemed qualified enough, but we just couldn’t get past that name of yours. We didn’t think voters would go for it. Dallas has come a long way, but we still have a long way to go, you know? Cultural biases are a hard thing to shake. Given your name and all, you’ve got to know what we’re talking about. We mean, really, what adult goes by Bobby? Come on, man. You give that up with Transformers and juice boxes. (Unless you’re in a runoff, in which case there’s still time to call yourself Robert, like a man with a mortgage and a wife who gives you the side eyes when you crack open a second beer.) —THE EDITORS

Today we received a response from Abtahi. It reads:

Dear Editors,

I am both shocked and appalled by your publication’s ridicule of my name. Having grown up in Dallas, my name has always been a sore subject, and when a magazine with an esteemed reputation such as yours makes such culturally insensitive remarks, it gives me pause. I have always been a fan of your positive influence on the citizens of Dallas. It was your Timothy Rogers that taught us formal wear and coffee flavored tequila were not simply for a black tie event. It was your Zacharias Crain that taught us we could all learn something about passion and fortitude from the great Nicholas Van Exel. Through the years, I’ve had the misfortune of being referred to as Bob, Bobbie, and Bobbi. These are memories that I buried deep inside me and tried to ignore. I would like to think we live in a time when a name is simply a name, but I suppose we still have a long ways to go. Furthermore, I am more of a Thundercats kind of guy but still do on occasion enjoy a juice box. I’m sticking to my principles and will move forward in the runoff as Bobby Abtahi (plus we’ve spent a lot of money on yard signs).


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  • Sugar Shane

    Bobby Abtahi just dropped the mic and left the arena.

  • Pegaso

    I sure do miss the Thundercats.

  • critic

    Dear D editors– it seems you should now endorse B. Abtahi as the run off candidate, especially after the dissection of his name.

  • Travis Rex

    Why did D Mag pawn off the dislike on Dallasites? Why not just admit that their rich cracker a$$es didn’t like his name? Nice passive aggressive pretense, which is not abnormal for this magazine.

    • Tim Rogers

      Travis, I get the impression that you don’t laugh enough.

  • Eric Celeste

    Biggest lie in this post: “SECOND beer” [all-caps emphasis added].

  • Lucy Christie

    Well played.

  • Nick

    It’s worked for Bobby Jindal

  • James

    Bobby is a great guy. There are too few people actually trying to make an impact like he is.

  • Lisa Mcknight

    Worked for Bobby Kennedy

  • Buford Cluckers

    Bobby Ewing? Check.

  • canerosso

    Ha! Finally someone that can take a joke! Snarf. Snarf.

  • Brandon

    Well played Bobby. Well played, indeed.

  • Eric Williamson

    Sign me up for one of those juice boxes.

  • Wylie H Dallas

    I like this guy; would be great to have someone sitting around the horseshoe that is both smart and funny.

  • TheSlowPath

    We have unlimited juice? This party is going to be off the hook!

  • SJS

    Who mocks someone’s name? Stupid.

  • SJS

    Who mocks someone’s name with a arguably racist insinuation? Stupid.

  • Jazz

    Bobby is the best!

  • Jzs

    Worked for Bobby Vinton, oh yea, but he was a gringo!

  • Jzs

    It worked for Bobby Vinton, but oh yea, he was a gringo!

  • Anna Casey

    His legal name was Bobak until he filed a lawsuit to change it. He was Bobak then he changed it to Robert then he changed it to Bobby when he ran for council. How is anyone suppose to know what his name is when he keeps changing it?

    • Bobtex

      Shall we try to guess which political candidate Anna Casey works for?

    • Joel

      Bobak actually literally translates to Bobby in Farsi. I’ve known Bobby my entire life. I’ve always known him as Bobby. Doesn’t Philip Kingston’s campaign manager have better things to do than race bait on an internet blog?

  • Roy Nattiv


  • Anna Casey

    I am proud to be with Kingston clown. I don’t have to guess who you are with and it does not change the fact that your guy doesn’t know his name. LOL

  • marian

    Is that Kingston, clown or Kingston Clown? And whatever happened to that story about Mrs. K. Clown and her wild night in the parking lot of a liquor store?

  • rodknee

    Did you mean Kingston, clown? Or maybe Kingston the Clown?

  • Bobtex

    “Kingston clown”? We can see that Mr. Kingston’s campaign money is well-spent. By the way, I don’t live in District 14, have never met either of the candidates, and frankly don’t care whether your “clown” wins or not. Just trying for a little transparency here. Thanks for playing.

  • ohmy

    You work for, or are “with,” Kingston Clown??! Makes sense.

  • umm


  • umm


  • SJL

    “your guy doesn’t know his name” Pretty sure he knows exactly who he is (and for what its worth, what he stands for… unlike the other candidate in the run-off)

  • Spud

    Odd that you would refer to Kingston as a clown.

  • Spud

    I don’t know what to make of “Bobby’s” response. It has some elements of (or attempts at) humor, but still contains the assertion that Rogers’ commentary was “culturally insensitive.” Just by using that phrase, Bobby has lost my vote. Also, who uses the phrase “it gives me pause”? SG. I thought Rogers’ piece was funny and clever–kind of like a Craig Ferguson bit (“you see what I did there?”). And I say this even though Tim blocked me from following him on Twitter like a little bitch.

  • Fun Times with Dick and Jane

    Personally I’ve always wondered why D magazine didn’t change their name either. I mean, do they really want to be referred to as Dicks and Penis every time someone says the name?

  • Mark Melton

    Apparently not.

  • Craig McDaniel

    From Growing up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Jindal changed his first name from “Piyush” to “Bobby” when he was a child, after one of the characters on the television sitcom The Brady Bunch.

  • Randy Zimmerman

    I got a call from the Kingston campaign last evening. I had to tell them that I planned on voting for Kingston until I heard on FrontBurner that Anna Casey was working for them.

  • Jack Bblaze

    I want to marry Bobby Abtahi. I want to have his baby. I want to share a juice box with while making fun of people who work for D Magazine.

    The last line of his letter is one of the best ever seen on this blog in this city or any other planet. Cuz it is ALL about the yards signs baby.

  • Eric Celeste

    Good grief, Anna. Hurt your candidate, much?

  • scott

    Why is Tim Rogers’ insipid letter filed under “Politics”? It doesn’t even rate as bad satire. Did you need some filler that day, or were you just too lazy to write anything truly pithy? Here’s another instance of when THE EDITORS should have edited themselves. (By the way, Travis probably didn’t laugh because most folks laugh when something’s funny…..)

  • Anna Casey

    Hey Randy, What’s up? Call us sometime. Miss you.

  • Anna Casey

    No usually don’t. You know my full name? Anna Yolanda Villasana Casey. Too Long so I go by Anna V Casey but I would never change my real name and I guess I don’t understand people that do. My bad.

  • Kerry Givens

    This confirmed that Dallas is lack intellectual fortitude to surpass its racist history. It explians why the mayor has difficulty attracting international business.