Two Stonewall Democrats vie for treasurer, pro-marriage equality Republican runs for county clerk
The race for Dallas County treasurer recently became more crowded after two members of Stonewall Democrats, including former Dallas City Councilwoman Pauline Medrano, announced they’re running for the position. David Bradley, another longtime member of Stonewall Democrats, also is running in the treasurer’s race.
Dallas County Treasurer Joe Wells decided not to seek re-election.
While Medrano said Wells “has done a fabulous job” and “has a wonderful track record,” she sees this as an opportunity to run in a partisan race. City races are nonpartisan, while candidates run with party affiliation for county positions.
“It’s an opportunity to re-acquaint with people around the county,” she said.
Medrano said she has been meeting with people who supported her in previous Dallas City Council races but were unable to vote for her because they weren’t in her district. They’re encouraging her to run in the county race.
“‘Hey, this time I get to vote for you,’” she said they’ve told her.
Medrano will have to pull ahead of an experienced Dallas County employee for the treasurer’s position.
After working in banking for 20 years, Bradley went to work for the county as a collection manager. He’s now an accounting supervisor. He described the treasurer’s job as an administrative one with four main functions — collecting, disbursing and investing money and then accounting for it.
“It’s [county treasurer] a good fit for me,” he said. “It’s something I know how to do.”
Deciding between candidates for a position that’s administrative will be difficult, Bradley said, because there really aren’t any policy issues to debate. While the treasurer acts as the county’s chief investment officer, investment decisions are made by a committee, but he said his professional background separates him from the other candidates.
“I spent my full career preparing for this,” he said.
Stonewall Democrats of Dallas President Omar Narvaez said choosing between Medrano and Bradley will be challenging. While
Medrano has been active in elective politics, Bradley has been active in party-level politics.
“It will be a very difficult choice for the organization,” he said.
Stonewall will hold its endorsement forum in early January.
In addition to Medrano and Bradley, the treasurer’s race also includes two other Democrats and a Republican. Democrats Paul Ingram and Bennie Brown are filing for the position as well as Republican Charles Lingerfelt. Ingram works in the county auditor’s office, and Brown challenged County Commissioner John Wylie Price in the 2012 Democratic Primary for county commissioner and lost. Lingerfelt challenged Price in the 2012 General Election, which he also lost.
Mark Jiminez, a gay candidate, is challenging incumbent John Warren for the Democratic nomination for the Dallas County clerk’s office. Emmanuel Lewis Jr., a straight Republican ally, also is running.
Jiminez jumped into the race to counter what he called “bad customer service” when he and his partner, Beau Chandler, applied for a marriage license. After being denied the license, they refused to leave the Dallas County Records Building after closing time.
They were then arrested.
Lewis said he’s running because of the opportunity it provides to bring up the issue of marriage equality.
“As a black male, lots of folks of all stripes fought for us,” he said. “This is my way of giving back.”
He said he’s running as an open-minded Republican. When Jiminez and Chandler applied for their marriage license, Lewis said there was a better way to handle it than having them arrested. He said Warren’s membership at First Baptist Dallas, which he called “a hateful, anti-Semitic, anti-gay church,” was an issue that contributed to his decision to run. He said he wouldn’t have told
Jiminez and Chandler the reason they were denied a license was because of the Bible.
“I can’t look people in the eye and tell them they don’t have rights,” Lewis said.
Lewis said he’s a Republican because there’s enough minority representation in the Democratic Party. But, he hasn’t been particularly welcomed there.
“I had to fight hard just to be a precinct chair,” he said.
The position in his Irving precinct was vacant, but the party resisted naming him, he said. Only after correspondence that went as high as the Texas attorney general did he become chair.
Narvaez said quite a few Stonewall members are up for re-election, including out Civil District Court Judge Tanya Parker.
Stonewall member Susan Lopez-Craig, who is openly gay, is challenging incumbent Beth Villarreal for Constable of Precinct 5.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 15, 2013.