First Candidate Launches 2019 Race for Dallas Mayor

15 others mentioned as possible candidates

The first candidate for Dallas Mayor in 2019 is businessman Albert Black. He hopes an early start will help persuade others to join him instead of running against him.

“We may have a chance to win, but I don’t know if we will earn the right to win. So let’s earn it by getting out early. We can’t think of one reason we should wait,” Black said.

The former Chairman of the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce said he is stepping away from his business, On Target Logistics, to avoid any conflicts of interest. Black said the successful Southern Dallas firm is an example of what a poor kid can accomplish in Dallas.

Black grew up in the Frazier Courts public housing project, which was renovated into Frazier Townhomes. He’ll launch his campaign Saturday morning in the community center there.

“I’m certainly going to work hard to be the people’s choice,” Black said.

The Frazier neighborhood now has a head start program and health care center which create jobs in the area. Black said neighborhoods around the city need basic services and his campaign will promise the same things to all segments of Dallas.

“We don’t need to be a Trans-Trinity candidate that changes message from every neighborhood,” Black said.

Current Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings is restricted from running again in May 2019 by term limits.

Dallas Morning News Political Writer Gromer Jeffers said he has spoken with 15 other people who say they are considering a run for Dallas Mayor.

Black said he has talked to all of the others, seeking their support for his campaign.

“If he can get that kind of support early on, it will make it difficult for the people coming after him,” Jeffers said.

The other people include 5 current Dallas City Council Members, Dwaine Caraway, Jennifer Staubach Gates, Scott Griggs, Philip Kingston and Adam McGough.

Five current or past public officials include Park Board President Bobby Abtahi, Dallas School Superintendent Michael Hinojosa, Former Dallas County Republican Party Chairman Phillip Huffines, Former City Council Member Angela Hunt and Former Clinton Administration official Regina Montoya.

State Representatives Rafael Anchia, Helen Giddings and Jason Villalba have indicated they are considering a Mayoral bid.

In addition to Black, businessmen Michael Ablon and Peter Brodsky are mentioned as possible candidates by the Dallas Morning News.

Some of the younger candidates must choose between business careers and public service. The job of Dallas Mayor is supposed to be a part time in the City Manager form of government, but still demands a substantial time commitment.

“Do I put on hold my prime earning years and serve as Dallas Mayor? The answer to that question is going to be ‘no’ for a lot of folks,” Jeffers said.

Southern Methodist University Political Expert Cal Jillson said City Council members have a difficult time moving into the Mayor’s chair because rivalries on the council make it challenging to build city-wide support.

“You need a dynamic person who can create and hold a coalition together,” Jillson said.

The long-time observer of Dallas City Politics said the campaign organization and fund-raising Black is putting together could scare other contenders out of the race. But the election is still 10 months away with November mid-terms to occupy voters’ attention first.

“You can’t win a baseball game in the first inning and you can’t win the Mayor’s job in July of the previous year,” Jillson said.

Jillson said Black must avoid mistakes in his early campaign and other contenders may still emerge closer to the 2019 election.

The winner will likely need a campaign war chest of at least $1.5 million.

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