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Dallas County's Democratic Primary Runoff, 2014 Edition

by: jvansickle

Fri May 09, 2014 at 01:43 AM CDT

(Thanks to James Van Sickle for this great guest post! - promoted by Katherine Haenschen)

On May 27th the Primary Election Season will come to a close.  

While the Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott campaigns are firmly underway, there are a few Primary races still in contention.  In this article, I am focusing on just the Democratic Primary races that are ongoing in Dallas County.

Below the jump, catch up on run-offs for the Legislature, Justice of the Peace, and Constable here in Dallas.

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2014 Democratic Primary: Dallas Contested Races

by: jvansickle

Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 01:54 AM CST

(Dallas will have a busy primary season this year! Thanks to James for this overview of what contested races will happen in the Big D this cycle. - promoted by Katherine Haenschen)

The Filing Period for the 2014 Democratic Primary has officially ended.  In Dallas County, we now have our slate of contested races that will be fought over in the March 4 Primary Election.  These candidates will now have roughly 2 months to make their case to Democratic voters.  A Primary Runoff Election is almost a certainty with probably around 3 to 5 races.

Here is a breakdown of the upcoming contested Primary Elections.  Please keep in mind that this article ONLY focuses on contested Dallas County Democratic Primary Elections, and will not cover any uncontested or statewide Democratic candidates.

Read more below the jump.

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2014 Democratic Primary: Dallas County Primer

by: jvansickle

Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 11:02 PM CDT

(Thanks to James Van Sickle for this primer on what's on the (very long) ballot in Dallas this cycle! - promoted by Katherine Haenschen)

Since the Labor Day Picnic held by Dallas Democrats, campaign season has slowly gotten underway.  

As mentioned in previous articles, all countywide offices in the Dallas are held by Democrats.  As we prepare a list of contested races, this article is to discuss the countywide and other down ballots races in the Democratic Primary.  I will follow-up with later articles discussing other races affecting Dallas County and their candidates.

Below the jump, read up on who's running and learn about the most important race that wasn't....

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Dallas Municipals: Where's the Money?

by: jvansickle

Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 02:26 PM CST

(Thanks to James van Sickle for this guest post! What are folks hearing about these races? Tell us in the comments! - promoted by Katherine Haenschen)

Now that January 15 has come and gone, the campaign finance reports are in for Dallas City Council candidates.  In this article we are going to be looking at some of the new faces that have announced their candidacy since our last blog post, plus review the reports filed with the Dallas City Secretary.  We will also briefly touch upon the Redistricting Trial that would affect the 2013 City Council maps.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am working with Delia Jasso (District 1) and Bobby Abtahi (District 14) as Data Manager and Technology Consultant.

Article Update (1/21/13): The original problem with Councilors Tennell Atkins and Carolyn Davis reports have been fixed so they are now visible online.  I have updated the table in this article to list their report totals.  City Hall Blog from the Dallas Morning News also published an article today stating that Ori Raphael is continuing his campaign.

Find out who's running and how much they have in the bank below the jump.

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Meanwhile back at the ranch: Dallas Municipals 2013

by: jvansickle

Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 11:13 AM CST

Now that the 2012 General Election is over (thank God!), the next big thing politically (at least for Dallas) are the upcoming 2013 May Municipal elections.  Just like my previous article from 2011, Dallas Municipal Elections Update, I wanted to take a moment to look at who is running and what the races look like right now.

Quick Dallas City Council Background

Dallas City Council is made up of 14 districted seats that run every 2 years. They are term-limited to 4 consecutive terms (8 years total) and earn $37,500 per year. Dallas Mayor, also known as Place 15, serves a 4 year term for a maximum 2 consecutive terms, and earns $60k per year. You can see a map of Dallas City Council Districts at Dallas County Elections website.

New Maps...err....maybe?

Thanks to redistricting in 2011, the City of Dallas now has new maps for its 14 City Council seats.  A fair amount of controversy was stirred up during redistricting about the number of Hispanic opportunity seats available.  Under the new maps, there are 4 Hispanic opportunity districts (Districts 1, 2, 5, & 6).  Some activists from the Hispanic community argued that the large Hispanic population growth justifies a fifth Hispanic opportunity district, but many African-American activists voiced concerns that such as district would be created at the expense of a one of their African-American opportunity districts and would result in retrogression.  The City of Dallas is currently being sued over the new map's hispanic districts.

Much like the State of Texas' redistricting battle, the arguments about maps with the City of Dallas can get complicated quickly.  Bill Betzen has written extensively about this fight on his blog, Dallas Redistricting 2011.  For this article, I will be focusing on upcoming City Council races based on the maps as they currently stand.  If the map lines change, then we will address how those adjustments affect the 2013 Municipal Elections at that time.

A Brief Review of Dallas City Councilors

The following table outlines the winners of Dallas City Council elections over the past 10 years.  Winners who also had a runoff election during a particular year are shaded in yellow; winners who ran unopposed during an election cycle are highlighted in blue.

Past Election Winners
Delia Jasso Delia Jasso Delia Jasso Elba Garcia Elba Garcia Elba Garcia Elba Garcia
*Open Seat* Pauline Medrano Pauline Medrano Pauline Medrano Pauline Medrano John Loza John Loza
Vonciel Hill** Scott Griggs David Neumann David Neumann Ed Oakley Ed Oakley Laura Miller
Dwaine Caraway Dwaine Caraway Dwaine Caraway Dwaine Caraway Maxine Reese Maxine Reese Maxine Reese
*Open Seat* Vonciel Hill Vonciel Hill Vonciel Hill Don Hill Don Hill Don Hill
Monica Alonzo Monica Alonzo Steve Salazar Steve Salazar Steve Salazar Steve Salazar Ed Oakley
Carolyn Davis Carolyn Davis Carolyn Davis Carolyn Davis Leo Chaney Leo Chaney Leo Chaney
Tennell Atkins Tennell Atkins Tennell Atkins Tennell Atkins James Fantroy James Fantroy James Fantroy
Sheffie Kadane Sheffie Kadane Sheffie Kadane Sheffie Kadane Gary Griffith Gary Griffith Mary Poss
Jerry Allen Jerry Allen Jerry Allen Jerry Allen Bill Blaydes Bill Blaydes Alan Walne
*Open Seat* Linda Koop Linda Koop Linda Koop Linda Koop Lois Finkelman Lois Finkelman
Sandy Greyson Sandy Greyson Ron Natinsky Ron Natinsky Ron Natinsky Sandy Greyson Sandy Greyson
*Open Seat* Ann Margolin Ann Margolin Mitch Rasansky Mitch Rasansky Mitch Rasansky Mitch Rasansky
*Open Seat* Angela Hunt Angela Hunt Angela Hunt Angela Hunt Veletta Lill Veletta Lill

** Vonciel Hill used to represent District 5, but redistricting will now have her in District 3.

Current Elections

Now that we have done a brief overview of City Council, redistricting, and past incumbents; let's take a look at the potential races that will be going on in the 2013 May Municipal Elections.

District 1 (Delia Jasso vs. Scott Griggs)

District 1 encompasses Oak Cliff and Kessler Park, and has the largest concentration of Hispanic voters (79%).  Under the new maps, current city council incumbents Delia Jasso (District 1) and Scott Griggs (District 3) both got drawn into the same district.  Neither has so far indicated that they are NOT running so we could have two sitting councilors fighting for the same seat.

Delia Jasso has represented District 1 since 2007, and succeeded County Commissioner Dr. Elba Garcia who was term-limited out.  Scott Griggs was elected in 2009, and has gained some popularity with his outspoken anti-fracking stance.  Both councilors have good backgrounds in helping their communities, and the fact they may now have to fight each other over a city council seat is a truly sad outcome of these new maps.

I should note for full disclosure that I worked with both candidates in their elections and re-elections.

District 2 (formerly Pauline Medrano, Open Seat)

For the past 8 years, District 2 has been represented by Pauline Medrano.  In the past two elections, Pauline's incumbency was challenged by William "Billy" MacLeod whom she handily defeated on both occasions.  It is unclear if Billy MacLeod will make a third attempt to run for District 2 now that Pauline is term-limited out of this election.  Adam Medrano, nephew to Pauline Medrano, has been rumored for years by local activists to be considering a run for the office as Pauline's successor.  Adam currently represents District 8 on the Dallas ISD Board, and was first elected in 2006.  So far Adam has not made any formal announcement of running so it remains to be seen what he will do.

Herschel Weisfeld, an openly gay real estate developer, has already announced his intention to run for District 2 in the upcoming election as mentioned by the Dallas Voice.  District 2 covers a large section of the LGBT community in Oak Lawn.  However, in 2006, Dallas' Stonewall Democrats endorsed Pauline Medrano over LGBT community member Monica Barros-Greene citing Pauline's support of the LGBT issues and community.

Ricky Gonzales filed a Treasurer Appointment with the Dallas City Secretary.  I do not have much information on Ricky at this time, but did find that he posted an online notice seeking a volunteer web developer for the campaign.

Open seat elections easily draw four or more candidates so it remains to be seen who else announces for this seat.

District 5 (former Vonciel Hill, Open Seat)

District 5 is an open seat election under the new map.  Scott Griggs of District 3 was drawn into District 1, and Vonciel Hill formerly of District 5 now resides in the new District 3.  District 5 has been drawn as a Hispanic opportunity district in the area of Dallas known as Pleasant Grove.  At this time, I have not heard of any candidates that have formerly announced to run for this new seat and no one has yet filed a Treasurer Appointment with the Dallas City Secretary.

District 10 (incumbent Jerry Allen, fourth term)

District 10 is represented by Jerry Allen who will be running for his fourth and final term.  Jerry has a distinction of being unopposed during his first election, and then opposed in every election since.  It more common for candidates to fight a contested race the first time and then run unopposed in subsequent elections.

District 10 resident Matthew Shuman has filed a Treasurer Appointment for District 10.  Matt is a 30 year old resident with sporadic voting history (2008 & 2004 General, no Primary or Municipal).

District 11 (formerly Linda Koop, Open Seat)

District 11 remains largely unchanged from its previous incarnation, and is the second most northern council district of Dallas.  District 11 covers the heavily Jewish areas of Preston Hollow represented by Jason Villalba (State House 114); plus neighborhoods surrounding the Galleria represented by Stefanie Carter (State House 102).  Some followers of Dallas Council politics have suggested that Lois Finkelman is considering a possible run to replace Linda Koop who is term-limited out.  Lois has previously served 8 years on the Dallas City Council, Park Board President, and was appointed to head the city's Gas Drilling Task Force.

District 13 (formerly Ann Margolin, Open Seat)

Current incumbent Ann Margolin was elected in 2009 in the most expensive city council race in the City of Dallas.  The Dallas Morning News reported on Sunday that Ann Margolin had announced she would not be seeking re-election in 2013.  It is unclear exactly who will run to replace her in this district, or whether Brint Ryan may take another stab at running.  Brint currently serves as Finance Chairman of the Dallas County Republican Party and CEO of Ryan LLC, a global tax services firm.  District 13 is composed almost entirely of the Preston Hollow, and its Councillor would represent such local celebrities as former President George W. Bush, Ross Perot, Mark Cuban, and Roger Staubach.

District 14 (formerly Angela Hunt, Open Seat)

In 2011, Angela Hunt was often mentioned as a possible contender for the open mayoral seat vacated by Tom Leppert so he could make his ill-fated bid of United State Senate.  Angela opted to run for her fourth and final term representing District 14, instead.  District 14 has a number of potential candidates that could potentially make this one of the more crowded races of 2013.  I should note for full disclosure that I worked as Angela Hunt's Data Manager for her re-election campaign in 2011.

Here is a breakdown of announced or potential candidates:

Jim Rogers: Jim gets listed first since he announced in 2011 before it became clear Angela was not going to run for Mayor.  Once Angela chose to run for District 14, Jim Rogers changed his plans to run in 2013 when Angela's term expired.  Jim is a lawyer by trade, and one of the founding members of the Byran Place Neighborhood Association.

Philip Kingston: Philip Kingston informed the Dallas Morning News on October 10 that he was running after filing a Treasurer appointment with the City of Dallas.  Philip is also a lawyer, and also served as Angela Hunt's campaign treasurer.  Paul Sims, Angela's husband, is acting as Philip's treasurer.

Judy Liimatainen: Judy Liimatainen has also filed a treasurer appointment with the City of Dallas.  She is a board member for the Greenland Hills Neighborhood Association.

Robert Abtahi: Rumors have been circulating that Robert Abtahi, who currently sits on the city's Plan Commission, is considering a possible run.  Robert is an attorney who graduated from Southern Methodist University, and also served as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Dallas.

James Nowlin: James Nowlin ran against Angela Hunt in 2011, and was the second highest voter getting (27%) in a four person race.  James dissolved his campaign committee in 2010, but does still live in District 14 under the new maps.  It remains to be seen if James decides to try running again in this open seat election.

Looking ahead at 2015

The Municipal Elections for 2015 could be an interesting year as well assuming that many of the current incumbents seek and win re-election this cycle.  In 2015, 6 city councilors (Vonciel Hill, Dwaine Caraway, Carolyn Davis, Tennell Atkins, Sheffie Kadane, and Jerry Allen) will be term-limited out of office plus Mayor Mike Rawlings will be up for re-election.
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Most Important Election You Have Not Heard About

by: jvansickle

Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 00:50 PM CST

(One of our users with an interesting take on (now) upcoming elections in Dallas.   - promoted by Burnt Orange Report)

Now that the dust has begun to settle from the 2012 General Election, political activists can look towards three big races that are on the horizon: 2013 Municipal Elections, 2014 Democratic Primary, and who will replace County Chair Darlene Ewing.  Huh?

Darlene Ewing has served as County Chair for the Dallas County Democratic Party since her election in 2005 after what many observers consider the disastrous tenure of Susan Hays.  During Darlene's tenure, the DCDP has gone from a county party mired in financial problems to one that controls all 60 countywide offices plus a super-majority (4 out of 5 seats) on the Dallas County Commissioner's Court.  In early 2012, Darlene announced at a County Executive Committee meeting that this would be her final term.

Many party insiders have suspected that Darlene would resign her position sometime in early 2013.  This would lead to Precinct Chairs electing a new County Chair who would then serve through the upcoming 2014 Democratic Primary and possibly beyond.  The goal would be to give the newly elected chair time to settle into the position and get their staff onboard before either the Primary or General Elections begin.  This is the same path that Dallas Republicans chose in 2011 when former County Judge candidate Wade Emmert took over as County Chair.

Dallas is the second largest Democratic county in Texas with 52 local countywide offices (47 of them judges) up for re-election in 2014.  All held by Democrats.   The chief concern among party insiders is that a potentially contentious County Chair primary battle and subsequent turnover of county party staff in May 2014 could negatively affect the DCDP's ability to run an effective Coordinated Campaign in the 2014 General Election.  These were similar concerns voiced in 2010 and 2012 when Sean Hubbard and Lymon King were respectively considering a run for County Chair.

What does the County Chair do in Dallas?

For those unfamiliar with local county party politics, the County Chair acts as the head of the local Democratic Party.  In Dallas, there are several important functions that the County Chair performs that can have wide-ranging consequences for the DCDP.  These functions include:

1) Hire or fire the Executive Director who oversees day-to-day functioning of the local county party
2) Hire or fire the Campaign Manager who oversees the Coordinated Campaign during partisan election cycles
3) Run the County Executive Committee meetings that meet once every quarter
4) Run the local Democratic Primary election for Dallas County
5) Be the face of the DCDP to local media and county functions

So how will this County Chair transition work?

The first order of business is when Darlene will announce that she is stepping down.  It is likely that this County Chair election will follow the same path when Ken Molberg (now Judge of 95th Civil District Court) and Lisa Payne respectively resigned as County Chair in the 1990s.  In each case, the County Chair issued a statement that they were resigning their position effective upon the election of their successor.  A date would then be set, likely within 45 to 60 days from the announcement, for Precinct Chairs to meet and elect a new County Chair.  Gromer Jeffers of the Dallas Morning News mentioned in his article "Dallas County Democrats closing gap in early voting, a sign of another sweep" that Darlene may resign in March 2013.

If Gromer is correct, it is likely that would put the election in either May or June to give candidates time to campaign among Precinct Chairs, Democratic clubs, and organizations.  Once the new County Chair is elected, they will then hire an Executive Director, which is currently an open position after Steve Tillery resigned in September 2012.  The DCDP also employs a Bookkeeper and Office Manager who work at the pleasure of the County Chair.  The County Chair and their staff will then have roughly 6 months to settle in before filing begins for the 2014 Democratic Primary.

The County Chair who wins must then also run in the 2014 Democratic Primary, ironically, also while running the Primary itself.  If there is a contested Primary and the newly elected County Chair loses, then the DCDP gets to have the transition of office staff all over again, but this time taking place in the middle of the 2014 General Election while also trying to heal possible wounds opened from a contentious primary fight.

What about past County Chair elections?

The last transition of a Democratic County Chair in Dallas was a less than stellar experience.  In 2005, local Precinct Chairs openly revolted against then County Chair Susan Hays (see CIVIL WAR AMONG DALLAS DEMOCRATS?).  Susan had angered many local Precinct Chairs and other activists by endorsing a Republican candidate using DCDP letterhead and not holding a County Executive Committee meeting for a year.  It was also later discovered that the DCDP under Susan's stewardship was not only broke, but also owed roughly $25,000 in unpaid federal payroll taxes and related fines.

An argument can be made that changing demographics and anger at Republicans on a national stage helped local Democrats win in 2006.  However, the fact that Dallas Democrats have expanded that initial success, even in disastrous years like 2010, shows why having a strong and competent County Chair is important to future successes in Dallas County.  The election also has wider implications for Democrats across Texas.  Statewide candidates need the strong turnout of Democrats in Dallas to have a chance at winning.  If Dallas is disorganized and uncoordinated in its GOTV efforts, then up-ballot candidates for statewide office will feel the pinch just as badly down-ballot candidates do.

So what comes next?

In my next article on this subject, I look forward to talking about potential County Chair candidates as well as more news as this election develops.

James Van Sickle
Darwood Technology
Darwood Facebook Page

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Dallas County 2012 Municipal Elections

by: jvansickle

Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 02:15 PM CDT

(Dallas County will be holding municipal and school board elections this May. Here with a preview of what's going on not just in Dallas but also the surrounding communities is reader and Vendor Page listee James Van Sickle!   - promoted by Katherine Haenschen)

While everyone's attention seems to be focused on either the Presidential or Primary elections, Dallas County will have quite a few non-partisan elections on May 12th. Early voting will begin April 30th to May 8th. You can find a list of Early Voting Locations using this link to the Dallas County's Elections Department.

The majority of the mayoral and city council elections are for small towns and suburbs that form the outline of Dallas County. Cities with municipal elections on the 2011 ballot include Addison, Balch Springs, Carrollton, Cockrell Hill, Coppell, DeSoto, Duncanville, Farmer's Branch, Garland, Glenn Heights, Grand Prairie, Highland Park, Hutchins, Irving, Lancaster, Mesquite, Sachse, Seagoville, Sunnyvale, University Park, and Wilmer. These municipalities range in size from large cities such as Grand Prairie and Irving to towns that encompass little more than a single voting precinct like Cockrell Hill.

I won't be going into too much detail for each race in every town, and am focusing on two hot areas of contention.

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2012 Dallas County Candidate Update

by: jvansickle

Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 03:30 PM CST

(What's going on in Big D? James Van Sickle is here to tell us.   - promoted by Katherine Haenschen)

While speculation and bargaining continue for how the 2012 maps for Congress, State Senate, and State House will look, I wanted to take some time to look at the contested Democratic Primary races in Dallas based on current filings. Once the maps are finalized, I will post another article discussing changes we get when the filing period reopens for a brief period of time.  It should also be noted that this article will be discussing only races contained solely within Dallas County and not any statewide or multi-county campaigns.  All tables in this article are sorted by Contributions in descending order.

United States Congress, District 30

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson is currently serving her 10th term (20 years), and is actively campaigning for another term in office. So far two candidates have risen to challenge Congresswoman Johnson in Democratic Primary. State Representative Barbara Mallory-Caraway (HD-110) filed for a ballot position, along with Taj Clayton who is a litigator at international law firm Fish and Richardson.

It should be noted that only the below table only looks at reporting period totals between 10/1/2011 to 12/31/2011.  

Candidate --Contributions-- --Cash On Hand-- --Expenditures--
Taj Clayton $212,653.74 $195,811.03 $16,842.71
Eddie Bernice Johnson $95,186.50 $228,522.70 $74,229.05
Barbara Mallory-Caraway $15,741.00 $413.92 $22,799.16


Texas State Legislature

In theory, State House Districts 110 and 107 should be hot primary races. The ongoing issue regarding our maps is putting all of that into question, however. Regardless of how the maps come out, District 110 will be a hot race because it will be to replace Barbara Mallory-Caraway as she runs for Congress. HD-110 is a safe Democratic district with a large African-American population. Right now there are three candidates for HD-110, but this could easily change depending on how those maps lines come out. Once the maps for 2012 have been finalized, I will put together a follow-up article discussing who is and who is not running for each State House district in Dallas County.

District Judge, 162nd Judicial District

The 162nd Judicial District has been held by Lorraine Raggio since her initial election in 2004. Judge Raggio announced her retirement, several candidates have announced or filed for this seat.

Candidate --Contributions-- --Cash On Hand-- --Expenditures--
Maricela Moore $115,651.00 $71,020.80 $44,130.20
Teresa Guerra Snelson $81,238.35 $34,244.22 $46,994.13
David Diaz $16,044.00 $1,719.59 $7,402.53
Phyllis Lister Brown $4,255.00 $295.34 2958.66
Scott Perry $3,576.52 $429.64 $3,382.43
Baltasar D. Cruz $0.00 $0.00 $334.67

Phyllis Lister Brown is currently a municipal judge in the City of Dallas. According to the city charter, city appointees and elected officials must resign their position when seeking higher office. Judge Brown has argued that she does not have to do so given past precedence of when municipal Judge Elizabeth Frizell ran in 2006 for higher office. Dallas City Council voted on January 18 to remove Phyllis from office. Phyllis' lawyers filed a restraining order against the removal, and the city attorney appealed this order. Now it appears that this will be going to court to decide whether Judge Brown gets to keep her seat on the municipal bench or be removed. (See Judge Phyllis Lister Brown Will Soon Get a Shove Off the Bench or a Day in Court)

In the interest of transparency, it should be noted that I am providing technology and communications support to Maricela Moore in this race.

Criminal District Judge, Count No. 4

John Creuzot is the incumbent judge for Criminal District Court 4, and has served since 2008. Judge Creuzot has indicated that he will be retiring and not seeking re-election. So far two candidates (JR Cook and Dominique Collins) have filed to run for this seat. Races for the criminal bench tend to be low dollar affairs compared to their judicial counterparts in Civil Court (i.e. 162nd Judicial Court).

Candidate --Contributions-- --Cash On Hand-- --Expenditures--
JR Cook $18,380.00 $8,059.38 $11,954.13
Dominique Collins $14,602.37 $1,294.00 $10,311.00

In the interest of transparency, it should be noted that  I am providing technology and communications support to JR Cook in this race.


In 2008, Lupe Valdez solidly won re-election in both Primary and General elections. Sherriff Valdez has remained very popular in local Democratic circles. In 2011, Dallas County Jails passed inspection for the 2nd year in a row, which was a top issue for Republicans and other opponents in 2008. An individual named Charlie J. Thomas has filed to run against Lupe in the Democratic Primary, but I have no information about his candidacy at this time.

County Commissioner, District 1

In 2010, Democrats gained majority on the Dallas County Commissioner's Court, and have subsequently redistricted District 1 to be a Democratic-opportunity district. This seat is currently held by Maurine Dickey who along with her husband owns the Dickey's BBQ franchise. Originally, it was rumored that there were over 7 potential candidates interested in running. Since the map was finalized, that number has now sized itself down to 3.

Candidate --Contributions-- --Cash On Hand-- --Expenditures--
Theresa Daniel $27,545.00 $14,176.26 $13,368.72
Daniel Clayton $2,300.00 $131.05 $3,741.36
Gloria T. Levario $1,500.00 $231.95 $1,268.95

In the interest of transparency, it should be noted that  I am providing technology and communications support to Theresa Daniel in this race.

County Commissioner, District 3

Commissioner District 3 had been held by John Wiley Price since 1985. On June 27, 2011, FBI agents searched Commissioner Price's offices and home, and were looking for documents relating to fraud, bribery, money laundering, and tax evasion allegations (See Commissioner John Wiley Price's Office, Home Searched). The investigation is still ongoing, and no charges have been filed against Commissioner Price. Commissioner Price has drawn three opponents in the upcoming 2012 Primary.

Candidate --Contributions-- --Cash On Hand-- --Expenditures--
John Wiley Price $9,200.00 $???? $27,662.50
Bennie Brown $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Betty Culbreath Did not file Jan 15 finance report
Micah B. Phillips Did not file Jan 15 finance report

While Bennie Brown did file the required January 15 campaign finance report, they failed to mention the $1,250 filing fee paid to the Dallas County Democratic Party in the campaign finance report. According to Dallas County Elections Department, neither Betty Culbreath nor Micah B. Phillips filed their January 15 campaign finance reports. All candidates are required to file campaign finance reports on January 15 and July 15 each year as long as they have a treasurer appointment on file.

Commissioner Price wrote "N/A" under the Cash On Hand line item for his campaign finance report, which is why I left question marks under that section.

DCDP County Chair

In a previous article, I had mentioned that an individual named Lymon King was looking to run for County Chair. Mr. King has since decided against running in 2010, and made this announcement through a robocall to his supporters. No one else has indicated about a run for County Chair so it appears that Darlene Ewing will be starting a fourth term, which she announced will be her last as County Chair.

Unopposed Countywide Races

Here is the list of countywide offices up for re-election in 2012 that so far do not have a primary opponent.

Dallas County Elected Office Incumbent
District Judge, 14th Judicial District Eric V. Moye
District Judge, 95th Judicial District Ken Molberg
Criminal District Judge, Court No 2 Don Adams
Criminal District Judge, Court No 3 Gracie Lewis
County Tax Assessor-Collector John R. Ames
County Chair (Primary Only) Darlene Ewing

James Van Sickle
Darwood Technology
Darwood Facebook Page

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The Fallacy of Polls and Republican Primary

by: jvansickle

Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 05:19 PM CST

(Great post from BOR community member James Van Sickle! Good reading in advance of today's Iowa Caucuses.   - promoted by Katherine Haenschen)

2012 Rep NomineeNow that the New Year is upon us and the Iowa Caucus is only two days away, I thought it would be a good time to examine the volatility and danger that polls can present to candidates.  The attached chart shows the maximum percentage of likelihood that each candidate would be the 2012 Republican nominee.  These data come from the futures market site Intrade.com, and track each candidate from Jan 1, 2011 to Dec 31, 2011.  These numbers show the maximum percentage that each candidate received each month.  It should be noted that December can be deceiving for Newt Gingrich.  Gingrich spiked for about two weeks before collapsing back to normal levels.  During this spike, Romney also experienced an equal drop in likelihood of being the nominee.

Did Tim Pawlenty drop out too soon?

Throughout the early months of 2011, the two largest contenders in the race appeared to be Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney.  However, the general mood of the Republican Party appeared to indicate that neither candidate was what Republicans really wanted.  Perry did not officially announce his candidacy until the Ames Straw Poll on August 31, 2011, but talk of his running had already started to generate buzz.  Pawlenty spent over $1 million dollars to get a strong place in what is ultimately a meaningless poll, came in third place, and subsequently dropped out of the race.

While hindsight is always 20/20, a look back over the past year of data shows that Pawlenty most likely dropped out too soon.  At the time, the Rick Perry Campaign seemed to be like a sleeping giant just starting to wake up.  Perry had just been successfully re-elected in Texas, was starting to get his campaign machine going in Iowa, and had not had a single debate. Then Rick Perry went to a few debates, opened his mouth, and shocked a lot of Republicans and Democrats everywhere with his performance.

Was it Rick Perry's race to lose?

While Tim Pawlenty may have dropped out too soon and could have taken advantage of Rich Perry's falling stardom, the numbers appear to show that this was Rick Perry's race to lose.  Rick Perry was at his height in August just after
he announced his candidacy.

2012 Rep Nominee Debates

His numbers would reach slightly higher in September, but Romney also began a steep climb during that month, too.  The key factor here was Rick Perry's own abyssmal debate performance.  When you begin to add the Republican debates to the above graph, a clear trend begins to form as Perry sinks his own ship with his mouth and lack of preparation.  Despite whatever people might say about Romney, the debates clearly showed that Romney had spent the last four years learning from his mistakes and preparing.  While Rick Perry's "shoot from the hip" style made him look totally unprepared for prime time.  Ironically, Rick Perry's debate performance only made Bill White' defeat to the man in 2012 more embarrassing.

Once Rick Perry's star began to fall, Republicans were left with few real options for a Romney-alternative.  This is shown in the surges that Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum all felt.  Michele Bachmann's biggest spike was mid-July without any surge since then, despite coming in first place in the Ames Staw Poll (1% higher than Ron Paul).  Did I mention it was a meaningless poll?  On a national level, none of these candidate have been given a serious chance of winning the nomination, although one might at least win Iowa.

The Fallacy of Polls

While the above narrative of the Republican Primary through 2011 is interesting, it shows the volatility and danger of polls can present to candidates.  Throughout the year, national polls have shown some candidates barely beating President Obama, or President Obama barely squeeking by.  However, in each case, the polls are only a snapshot of the here and now while the real election was still over a year away.  The Rick Perry campaign juggernaught that many analysts seemed to predict fell on its own sword, but may not be completely dead just yet.  In September 2007, John McCain's campaign was pronounced Dead On Arrival, and most analysts believed the 2008 election would be between Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani while Barack Obama's efforts help might get himself a slot for Vice President or a cabinet position. People also tend to forget that President Clinton also lost both Iowa and New Hampshire in the 1992 Democratic Primary.  In 2003, Governor Howard Dean was considered the front runner for the 2004 Democratic Primary until John Kerry won both Iowa and New Hampshire.

Polls have their place in every election, but must always be taken with an understanding of the circumstances surrounding the current environment the polls exists in.  A poll in July 2011 about who will win in November 2012 is hardly worth the paper its printed on.  However, a poll in September 2012 on who will win in November 2012 should at least be taken very seriously.  History has shown that Mitt Romney or any other candidate always has a possibility of being one major gaffe or scandal away from being yesterday's news.  Democrats throughout both Texas and nationally thankfully don't have to worry about who our nominee will be for the Presidency in 2012.  Rather than worry about who the Republicans will or will not nominate, we should sit back and enjoy the show while also organizing and preparing for the eventual fight that will start sooner than most of us think.

Working with the Data

If you are interested in seeing more of the collected data or playing with a few of the numbers, please feel free to down the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that I put together to create the above charts.  The data comes directly from Intrade.com's website, and covers the period between January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011.

Intrade Rep Nominee Data

You can also find this article and data on my website below.

James Van Sickle
Darwood Technology
Darwood's Facebook Page

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Who's on First? 2012 Dallas County Electoral Preview

by: jvansickle

Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 10:26 PM CDT

(OK Dallas readers- time to chime in and tell us how you feel about this! - promoted by Karl-Thomas Musselman)

Now that the Dallas County Democratic Party's Labor Day Picnic has concluded, it is officially primary campaign season.  Incumbent judges and their potential primary opponents are collecting signatures.  People are talking about running for State House and Congress.  I wanted to take some time to break down the hot races that are starting up in Dallas County.
There's More... :: (0 Comments, 1398 words in story)

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