Are you going to vote Saturday? Not many people are. But you’re not many people. You’re you. You’re on this stuff. You’ve read all about Mayor Eric Johnson. The mayor, isolated for much of his first two years on the council, is not on the ballot. But he’s inserted himself into several races in an apparent effort to bring some allies into City Hall. You’ve learned what, exactly, those confusingly worded city of Dallas ballot propositions mean. You know those campaign mailers about defunding the police are a lot of noise without much substance. You know a lot’s at stake, from the future of public transit to the city’s environmental health to building permits to basic infrastructure. A lot of federal money is also coming our way, and it’s the City Council that will decide how to spend it. You know where the candidates are getting their campaign money, and whether they’re getting it the right way.
You’re ready to head to the polling location of your choice. But before you go, below there are just a few more observations from the latest campaign finance reports filed by City Council candidates.
I’ve already written about the most notable thing to emerge from these filings, which track candidates’ fundraising and spending between March 23 and April 21. They essentially turn upside down what seemed to be happening earlier this campaign season, when several candidates going up against incumbents were neck-and-neck in fundraising. Now those sitting council members are comfortably raking in more campaign contributions. At least two of them, council members Jaime Resendez in southeast Dallas and Adam Bazaldua in South Dallas and Fair Park, notably enjoyed fundraising boosts after the mayor endorsed their opponents.
And in District 14, Councilman David Blewett has pulled ahead of his two challengers in fundraising, bringing in more than $80,000 in a month. Compare that to Paul Ridley’s $16,600 and the nearly $62,000 collected by Elizabeth Viney, who continues to draw an unusually high number of contributions from individual donors listing out-of-state addresses. (She particularly appears to have deep connections in Lafayette, La, where donors accounted for 16 of her maximum $1,000 donations.) Here are some other odds and ends and notable donors.
- Various members of the Deason family (Doug and Darwin are major Republican fundraisers) have continued to inject money into several races, donating the maximum $1,000 allowed by individuals to candidates including Sana Syed (District 2), Donald Parish (7), and Barry Wernick (11). That follows previous donations to Leland Burk (District 13) and Elizabeth Viney (14), as well as District 5 challenger Yolanda Williams and District 12 incumbent Cara Mendelsohn.
- Family members of the late Trammell Crow, founder of the major real estate development company, spread more than $60,000 among incumbents Paula Blackmon (District 9), Chad West (1), David Blewett (14), Adam McGough (10), Adam Bazaldua (7), Cara Mendelsohn (12), and Casey Thomas (3). Various Crows also donated to Leland Burk, who continues to raise just a whole lot of dough (more than $100,000) in his bid for the District 13 seat being left open by a term-limited Jennifer Staubach Gates. The campaigns of candidates Jesse Moreno (2) and Jaynie Schultz (12) also got some Crow money.
- The political action committee of the Dallas Police Association donated $1,000 to Sana Syed, who was endorsed by the PAC in District 2, and $500 to Councilman Adam McGough. Although the union hasn’t formally endorsed incumbents Chad West, Jaime Resendez, Casey Thomas, and Tennell Atkins, they each got $500 from the PAC. The donation to Resendez is especially notable, as he’s been portrayed (inaccurately) in campaign mailers for wanting to “defund” the police department.
- The Real Estate Council’s PAC gave $2,500 to every incumbent who isn’t out on term limits except for Casey Thomas, who does have TREC’s endorsement. It also donated to candidates Jesse Moreno, Leland Burk, and Barry Wernick.
- Mayor Eric Johnson, listing a PO box address used by his legislative campaign, gave $1,000 each to two incumbents, Cara Mendelsohn and Adam McGough, and to the two candidates he has endorsed: Yolanda Williams and Donald Parish Jr.