After 15 terms, U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Dallas) made the decision not to seek reelection. Nine Democratic candidates are now in the primary to fill the vacancy.
“Folks are energized. Folks are having conversations in places in spaces that we normally didn't about this race. And so, it is intriguing to see that on the soccer fields, on the football fields, and even in the barbershops, that folks are talking about Texas 30, and this potential of a new member of congress,” said Kardal Coleman, vice chairman of the Dallas Democratic Party.
The candidate field includes State Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-Dallas,) Arthur Dixon, Jane Hope Hamilton, Vonciel Jones Hill, Keisha Williams-Lankford, Barbara Mallory Caraway, Jessica Mason, Abel Mulugheta, and Roy Williams, Jr.
“What will be interesting is to see how much influence Eddie Bernice Johnson’s endorsement has in terms of clearing the field,” said SMU Political Science Professor Matthew Wilson.
Johnson endorsed Crockett.
But U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey (D-Fort Worth,) former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk and County Commissioner John Wiley Price have endorsed Jane Hope Hamilton. She is Veasey's former chief of staff. SMU Political Science Professor Matthew Wilson sees these two candidates as the front runners, in a race that has divided the Democratic political establishment.
“A lot of the campaigning here is going to take place below the radar screen. I don't expect a lot of television advertisements, so a lot of this is going to be about who can actually catch fire on the ground with the door-to-door campaigning, the appearance at local events,” added Wilson.
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Coleman expects a runoff is likely.
“We are expecting a runoff simply because there are so many folks in the race. So we will coalesce behind our candidate or our nominee at that point,” said Coleman.
On the Republican side of this primary are six more candidates: Lizbeth Diaz, Kelvin Goodwin-Castillo, Dakinya "Kinya" Jefferson, Angeigh J. Roc'ellerpitts, and James Rodgers.
Zachariah Manning has also filed to run as an independent in this race.
Early voting for the mid-term primary runs Feb. 14-25 and Election Day is March 1. Primary runoffs, if necessary, are May 24.