For the past three or four months, a favorite pastime among close observers of county government has been speculation about who will replace County Commissioner Jim Tyson, who has held the District 3 slot for 20 years. Some of the top possibilities for candidacy have been local minority leaders, including City Councilmembers Elsie Faye Heggins and Fred Blair; John Wiley Price, a black administrative aide to Justice of the Peace Cleo Steele; John Collins, a black former aide to Tyson; and ex-City Council-member Ricardo Medrano, a Hispanic.
J.D. Hall, a less-known, rather low-key black former educator, has now officially announced his candidacy. Hall has been involved in Dallas County education for more than 29 years. He taught in the Lancaster School District for a number of years and was principal of Rocky Crest Junior High School. He is now a trustee on the Dallas County Community College Board and is also a board member of the American Red Cross. Hall was one of the first blacks to be appointed to the local welfare board and has worked with the YMCA, the Urban League and the Lancaster Welfare Foundation. He also has received a number of civic awards, including the John Stemmons award, which he received for his Urban League work.
Hall, who now works full-time at his interior design company, says that a number of white supporters approached him to run against Tyson during the last election and that many of them are with him today. He has received support from the medical community as well as from the black community, including former City Councilmember Juanita Craft, former state Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson and Joe Bagby, former administrative assistant to County Commissioner Roy Orr. Although Orr has not officially endorsed a candidate, he says that if the vote were today, he would support Hall.