The mayor works there. Photo by Kelsey Shoemaker.

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Dallas Mayoral Poll Week Eight: Let the Early Voting Begin

Plus, the Dallas Morning News names their candidate(s).

It’s early voting time, but we’ve already told you that. You have from today (April 22) through April 30 to cast a vote. After that, you’re due at the polls on May 4. In 2015, when Marcos Ronquillo used potholes and infrastructure to challenge incumbent Mayor Mike Rawlings, just 6.7 percent of voters showed up to the polls. In 2017, 6.5 percent of registered voters OK’d a $1.05 billion bond program.

What will be in 2019? Can we at least get 10 percent? Every council seat is on the ballot, as is the aforementioned mayor’s race and a $1.1 billion bond election for the Dallas County Community College District. We’ve written plenty on what the next mayor will oversee: moving forward the tear-out of I-345, the affordable housing crisis, dwindling resources for police and fire, crumbling infrastructure, and homelessness and displacement. Now it’s time to have a say in who takes that role. The Dallas Morning News’ editorial board also endorsed three candidates, which seems like a bit of a cop-out. I can see endorsing two for the runoff, but maybe they just felt that passionately about the three of them.

Onto this week’s poll! There are only two more until you declare our own mayor.

This poll has ended.

1) Jason Villalba

Total Votes This Week: 537
Last Week: 825 (2)

Villalba joined the chorus of critics of District Attorney John Creuzot’s new reforms. In particular, the former state representative said the DA’s policy around not prosecuting those who are caught stealing “necessary items” “encourages theft under $750.” He notes that he is the only candidate in the mayor’s race to come out against the policy. ““While we must have compassion for those who struggle with poverty or who may be economically disadvantaged, allowing one elected official to ignore certain laws of Dallas, as codified in the Texas Penal Code, sets a dangerous precedent and encourages current and future lawlessness across the city. …  I will use the full weight of the Great State of Texas to make sure that we protect families all over Dallas from the scourge of crime.” Villalba fixed a supporter’s coolant leak and put photos on Facebook. He also held a block walk from his house in North Dallas. Here’s our podcast with him. — Matt Goodman

2) Albert Black

Total Votes This Week: 528
Last Week: 935 (1)

Black stood behind District Attorney John Creuzot’s reforms this week, telling the DMN that he doesn’t necessarily understand everything Creuzot proposed but that he trusts the DA. “And I think we’ve elected a DA that is attempting to do something that citizens across the county have asked for.” He talked to CBS 11’s Jack Fink, a bit more subdued than during his EarBurner appearance. A sampling: “How do we pass all of these big bond initiatives and how is city government producing the surplus that it is today and our neighborhoods don’t get more time and attention and good treatment? Our streets are dark. The streets need paving. There are not enough trees in the common areas. It’s not maintained the way that it should be. … Citizens are asking for the city of Dallas to do its job.” Here’s that EarBurner turn—Shawn Shinneman

3) Scott Griggs

Total Votes This Week: 155
Last Week: 138 (3)

Griggs put out a few new campaign videos this week, which essentially sums up his introductory remarks at forums. I’ve seen a lot more Griggs signs out and about, particularly in Oak Lawn. The Grapevine Bar has a giant one on its wall, next to one for Griggs’ buddy Councilman Adam Medrano. Griggs supporters were out taking photos at the early voting polling place downtown and he had a photo opp outside City Hall with the Dallas First Responders, which endorsed him last week. The Dallas Morning News said he had “strong ideas on improving city policy” and noted that “he has been on the right side of important issues,” but then called him “the leader of a deeply divisive political bloc in Dallas.” All of which he would probably welcome. Listen to our podcast with Griggs here. — M.G.

4) Miguel Solis

Total Votes This Week: 102
Last Week: 68 (5)

Solis was one of three candidates The Dallas Morning News endorsed for mayor. They promoted his work as a Dallas ISD trustee in “championing controversial yet crucial reforms,” like merit-pay and specially targeting resources to struggling schools. They also give him kudos for his work at the Latino Center for Leadership Development and his ideas “about balancing economic development with fears of gentrification (that) would enhance the city’s housing policy.” He also won an endorsement from the Mexican American Bar Association and issued an open letter from business people who are backing his campaign, some of which he’d already announced. Here is our podcast with Solis. — M.G.

5) Mike Ablon

Total Votes This Week: 65
Last Week: 75 (4)

Ablon was the only person to draw an ace during his conversation with EarBurner, which meant the Design District developer had just 10 seconds for introductions. After a good long sip of beer, he said but one word. (How’s that for a tease?) The DMN called him an “asset to Dallas,” but said “we are not convinced he can unite the whole city.” Listen to his EarBurner episode here. —S.S.

6) Lynn McBee

Total Votes This Week: 49
Last Week: 68 (5)

McBee grabbed one of the DMN editorial board’s three recommendations, which brushed aside the residency concerns—McBee moved to Dallas less than a year ago—by pointing out how dedicated McBee has been to Dallas’ most vulnerable populations—more so “than many who have lived in the city limits their entire lives.” The board praised McBee’s temperament, as well. “McBee’s push for getting Dallas back to the basics of public safety, street improvements and building stronger public schools represents the sort of platform residents have repeatedly supported,” it wrote. He’s our podcast with her. —S.S.

7) Eric Johnson

Total Votes This Week: 33
Last Week: 37 (7)

If you had questions about how candidates are using their war chest, all you’d need to do is look in my recycling bin. Eric Johnson has, anecdotally, sent me more mailers than anyone else—and called, and texted. He may be in Austin, but he lives in my mailbox. Johnson was another candidate who won endorsement last week from The Dallas Morning News, which said he “represents the sort of story Dallas can be proud of.” The Greenhill School and Ivy League graduate has a history of “thoughtful, bipartisan legislation,” the newspaper writes, adding that they dig his ideas on improving workforce training and recruiting big employers like Amazon to Dallas. He was in town this weekend for Easter and to block walk, and he noted that he had volunteers in neighborhoods all over town. He couldn’t do our podcast, but he did speak with CBS 11’s Jack Fink. — M.G.

8) Regina Montoya

Total Votes This Week: 31
Last Week: 30 (8)

In its triple recommendation, the DMN’s knock on Montoya was that her answers “too often lacked specificity.” That won’t be a new complaint for folks who’ve closely followed this race. Montoya sat down with Fink, as well, where she told him that her mantra for her four years would be to provide people with the opportunities they would need to succeed. Fink asked what, practically, that means. Her response: “You’re going to have a transportation system that works for you. It’s going to mean that the education system is going to be perfect for your children, for all children. It’s going to mean that there are going to be great jobs coming to Dallas that really conform to the abilities and the workforce that we have in Dallas.” —S.S.

9) Alyson Kennedy

Total Votes This Week: 4
Last Week: 11 (9)

Kennedy canceled her appointment at Table No. 1 last week, so we weren’t able to record a podcast with her. She did speak with Fink, where she spoke about how working people are kept “in the basement” in politics. She wants to be a voice “for the millions of working people who are not represented in this country.” She notes a lot of broad policies: rising rents and property taxes, low wages and police brutality. Kennedy says she doesn’t believe we need more police officers in Dallas, noting “police are trained to think that working people need to be put in their place. That’s how they’re trained to think, and that’s why we have police killings.” She also notes her job as a cashier at Walmart. “I know what working people face,” she says.  — M.G.

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