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Lorraine Birabil Joins the Race for Eric Johnson’s House Seat

Looks like it could get crowded.
By Shawn Shinneman |

Lorraine Birabil will run for the Texas House District 100 seat mayor-elect Eric Johnson will soon vacate. The former aide to U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey has worked on campaigns for Beto O’Rourke, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, and former Texas Sen. Wendy Davis.

She joins a field that could swell to around a dozen candidates, according to the Dallas Morning News’ political wonk Gromer Jeffers. Birabil announced her candidacy yesterday with a list of endorsers highlighted by Jenkins, Veasey, state Rep. Terry Meza, County Commissioner John Wiley Price, and Oak Cliff advocate Edna Pemberton.

Birabil, who has lived in District 100 for the last 20 years, does have the blemish of an arrest on her record, although it’s a bizarre one. During an incident in 2013, police took her in for reportedly approaching an officer who was arresting her father after she’d been told to stay back. Her father was in a confrontation with two people over catering equipment and pay. Birabil would file a use-of-force complaint against the officers.

Johnson’s seat was set to come up in 2020, but it’s likely a special election will take place once he steps down. Last year, Johnson took his Democratic primary with a commanding 70.5 percent of the vote. He hasn’t faced a Republican in the general since he entered the house in 2010, taking the seat vacated by Terri Hodge.

In the field so far, Jeffers also has Daniel Clayton, a former chief of staff to state Rep. Toni Rose, as well as a group of potentials including nonprofit leaders, lawyers, communications folks, a DISD trustee (Justin Henry), a former Dallas City Council member (Sandra Crenshaw), and a sitting Council member (Kevin Felder, who lost his bid for reelection in South Dallas’ District 7).

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