BATTLE LINES DRAWN AGAINST HEGGINS

A group of South Dallas businessmen is searching for a candidate to field against activist City Councilwoman Elsie Faye Heggins in next year’s election. Planning ahead, the group managed to elect 12 of the 6th District’s 27 Democratic precinct chairmen in last month’s primaries, unseating Heggins supporters in several instances. Control of precinct chairmen is critical to political success in the black community.

Asked about this business group, Mrs. Heggins says, “I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re in District 3 or 4 or downtown. We have folks who don’t live in South Dallas or Northeast Oak Cliff who still want to control it. We’ll rise to whatever challenge there is and we’ll win again.

“One voter after another went to the polls on May 1 wanting to vote for Elsie Faye Heggins,” she says. “I think I’ve served well. I represent what the people want. I speak for people who have never been considered before. I’m trying to open government to the people.”

Ellen Arnold, a precinct chairwoman elected in the May primary, says she supported Heggins the first time around, “but she’s turned sour on me . . . . The woman can’t get anything through. She’s just down there loud-talking. She’s not getting anything done.”

Former baseball player E.Z. (Foots) Parker, another recently elected precinct chairman, says, “I don’t think she’s the leader we need.”

The South Dallas business group intends to charge Heg-gins with rising unemployment in the black community, claiming that companies are declining to move to South Dallas because they fear picketing and disruption from Heggins and her compatriot, J.B. Jackson, and their followers in the Frederick Douglass Voters League. Some are still smarting from Heggins’ opposition to a post office in South Dallas and to moving sports activities that used to be at Cobb Stadium to a facility at Fair Park. She’s fighting, one critic contends, when she should be negotiating.

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