Stonewall sets forums, screenings for primary

Posted on 15 Mar 2012 at 6:22pm

LGBT Democratic group to host debates featuring candidates for new congressional district, County Commissioners Court at Sue Ellen’s

Narvaez.Omar

Omar Narvaez

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer

With Texas’ primaries finally set for May 29, Stonewall Democrats of Dallas has scheduled endorsement screenings and announced it will host candidate forums in two races.

Stonewall’s endorsement screenings will be April 13 and 14 at Resource Center Dallas.

On March 27, candidates for the new 33rd U.S. Congressional District, which covers parts of Tarrant and Dallas counties, will be in the Vixen Lounge at Sue Ellen’s.

On April 3, candidates for Dallas County Commissioners Court District 1 will be at Sue Ellen’s for Stonewall’s second forum.

“We want a very fair format with a moderator unaffiliated with Stonewall,” Stonewall President Omar Narvaez said.

He said both the LGBT group’s general membership and attendees will be allowed to submit questions. The half hour before and after the forums will be for meet-and-greets.

Stonewall’s political affairs chair Tracy Clinton said the forums will allow the group’s members to “dig a little deeper into the candidates.”

The newly drawn District 33 winds across a long, narrow swath of two counties, and 11 candidates have filed for the race. The organization is waiting to hear back from candidates to see how many will attend.

“We’re looking for some partnerships for the District 33 forum,” Clinton said.

The district begins in the southeast Fort Worth neighborhood that includes the Rainbow Lounge, cuts through parts of Arlington and Irving and ends in Dallas in North Oak Cliff.

Narvaez said two Irving precincts that have among the most female same-sex couples in Texas are in the district.

Candidates for that seat from Dallas include State Rep. Domingo Garcia and former City Councilman Steve Salazar. Fort Worth is well represented with City Councilwoman Kathleen Hicks and State Rep. Marc Veasey. Among the other candidates are a doctor, an attorney and several community activists and organizers from both counties, Narvaez said.

Garcia will speak at the monthly Stonewall meeting on March 20 and is the only one of the candidates confirmed for the forum at press time.

Three candidates are vying for the Democratic nomination for Commissioners Court.

“The new district is about one-third African-American, one-third Anglo and one-third Latino,” Narvaez said.

He said the three candidates are well-known within their communities.

“We don’t have a poor choice,” he said.

Narvaez said other races are also competitive and include well-known challengers. For example, in the District 30 congressional race, Barbara Mallory Caraway is one of two candidates challenging U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernie Johnson, D-Texas. But Narvaez said, “We’re probably not doing other forums because of time and endorsements.”

Once the organization decides on its candidates, members will work for the group’s slate.

Clinton called the delayed date for the primary frustrating and a disruption of the election cycle. With 11 candidates, he said, District 33 is among races likely to have runoffs, which will be held  July 31.

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Election schedule
April 30: Last day to register to vote in primaries
March 9: Filing period for candidates closed
May 12: Municipal and school board elections
May 14–25, 2012: Early voting for Texas primary
May 29: Texas primary election day
June 8–9: Democratic state convention in Houston. Republican state convention in Fort Worth
July 24–27: Early voting for the primary runoff
July 31: Primary runoff election day

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 16, 2012.

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