Qualifying ends next week for local races

Published 3:58 pm Friday, November 1, 2019

Qualifying for Dallas County offices that will go before the people for a vote in March of next year, when people will also have the opportunity to vote in the Democratic presidential primary, ends at the close of business next Friday, Nov. 8.

Among the local offices up for a vote next year are Dallas County Commission Districts one through four, Dallas County School Board District 5, various constable positions, tax assessor and tax collector – according to Dallas County Democratic Executive Committee (DCDEC) Vice Chairman Billy Young, Democrats have fielded candidates for each of the positions except for Tax Collector and Tax Assessor.

“It’s extremely important as the Dallas County Democratic Executive Committee to recruit candidates to run for these positions,” Young said. “While we can’t choose one Democrat over another Democrat, it’s important to have a Democrat running for every position. That’s what we’re doing and we hope someone comes soon to qualify as a Tax Collector and Tax Assessor. That’s our job, to ensure that Democrats are on the ballot in every race.”

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DCDEC Secretary Brenda J. Smothers noted that the local office only oversees the qualifying of candidates for local elections – state and federal elections are over seen by other elections offices – but she noted that Democrats might be interested in running for those seats, particularly as delegates to the Democratic National Convention, which will be held July 13 through 16 in Milwaukee.

“It would be really nice to have Dallas County people run for some of those positions,” Smothers said.

Dallas County Democrats have largely avoided taking sides in the power struggle now engulfing the Alabama Democratic Party, which found itself in court Thursday in an attempt by embattled Alabama Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy Worley to put a halt to a meeting to be held Nov. 2 by the faction seeking to hold new elections and draft new bylaws in line with Democratic National Committee (DNC) guidelines, and insists it is only interested in seeing the conflict resolved.

“We do understand that there is a lot of dysfunction right now with the state party,” Young said. “We’re staying on the grind and making sure that we do our jobs and that candidates qualify for these seats in Dallas County. It’s not affecting us getting the job done.”

Dallas County Commissioner Larry Nickles, who represents District 4 and has qualified to run again as a Democrat, has stiff opposition from three other Democrats interested in taking his seat – Jerry Phillips, Barry Allen and William Lumpkin will all face off against Nickles in the March election.

Nickles, who has served four terms, said in September that he would not seek re-election, stating during his announcement at a Dallas County Commission meeting that he believed he had “a higher calling,” prompting a round of praise from the rest of the commission.

Dallas County Commissioner Roy Moore, who represents District 2, is also running for reelection and will face off against Democrat Michael Irwin next year.

Leroy Miles, Jr. has qualified to run for the District 5 seat on the Dallas County Board of Education, while Valerie Reubin and Curtis Williams will run for reelection to their seats on the Dallas County Commission representing Districts 1 and 3 respectively.

Young encouraged anyone giving thought to seeking public office to stop by the DCDEC’s headquarters at 1600 Broad St. to learn more information and possibly get qualified to run.

“If there is anybody out there strongly considering running for office, now is the time to make their minds up and get in the race,” Young said.

The DCDEC, led by Chairwoman Synethia Pettaway, will have its next meeting Thursday, Nov. 7, in the Dallas County Commission chambers – Young noted that all are welcome to attend and become members of the organization, particularly Dallas County minorities.