An amazing 13 candidates were qualified Friday for the special November election to replace Dallas City Councilman Dwaine Caraway who resigned earlier this month after pleading guilty in a bribery scandal.
After Thursday’s filing deadline, 12 were qualified for the District 4 seat and petition signatures for the 13th candidate were verified Friday.
“That is a lot of candidates and it’s good news for the City of Dallas because it says people are interested in serving in District 4,” said Dallas Morning News Political Writer Gromer Jeffers. “Charges can have a chilling effect on participation. In this instance it did not.”
Caraway admitted taking around $450,000 in payments from a vendor. He is cooperating with the government in an ongoing investigation.
Most of the candidates seeking to replace him are election newcomers.
Sales representative Kebran Alexander said it is time for a new generation of public servants to help improve the district.
“While Councilman Caraway did a lot of good things, especially with constituent relations in this district, we’ve got to turn a corner,” Alexander said. “Hopefully we can come together, bring about some positive changes for the district and the city that everybody appreciates.”
Becky Lewis resigned as an aide to U.S. Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson to run for the unexpected opening.
“There are deeply rooted families in this community. I’m a part of that. We want what’s best for District 4,” she said. “I think with the right person in this area, we can get some significant changes made.”
The candidates include former District 4 Council Member Carolyn Arnold, who served two years and lost to Caraway in his 2017 comeback. Caraway served on the City Council for 8 years before 2015 when he was forced out by term limitation.
The 13 candidates will have just over 2 months to make their case to voters. And the special city election will compete for attention on the same ballot with other November races instead of being held in the normal season for municipal contests.
“This is sort of like a free for all,” Jeffers said. “The election is not in May. It’s it in the fall. And this is a situation where anybody has a chance to win. And that’s why you see so many candidates in the race.”
A December 11th run off election is scheduled in the event no one tops the 50% margin required to win outright on November 6th.