Stonewall Democrats of Dallas endorsed former police chief David Kunkle for mayor and openly gay candidate James Nowlin for the District 14 City Council seat on Saturday.
Kunkle and Nowlin were among 12 who received the LGBT group’s backing after 57 members interviewed 23 candidates in May 14 municipal elections, during a seven-hour session at Resource Center Dallas.
Stonewall’s endorsement of Kunkle came after Ron Natinsky pulled out of the candidate screening when he learned he would not be eligible for the group’s backing because he’s a Republican. Despite his party affiliation, Natinsky has received endorsements in the mayor’s race from some prominent gay Democrats, including openly gay former City Councilman Ed Oakley. Municipal elections are nonpartisan.
The other two candidates for mayor, Mike Rawlings and Edward Okpa, also sought Stonewall’s endorsement.
In heavily gay District 14, Nowlin beat out incumbent Angela Hunt for the group’s backing, despite the fact that Hunt has been an LGBT ally on the council.
Stonewall also endorsed Delia Jasso for District 1, Pauline Medrano for District 2, Scott Griggs for District 3, Monica Alonzo for District 6, Cassie Pierce for District 7, Cynthia Durbin for District 10 and William Tsao for District 12.
The group opted not to endorse Dallas Mayor Dwaine Caraway, who’s seeking re-election to his District 4 council seat. Caraway is currently finishing out the term of former Mayor Tom Leppert, who stepped down to run for U.S. Senate. Stonewall also opted not to endorse Sheffie Kadane in District 9. Both Caraway and Kadane sought the group’s endorsement and attended Saturday’s screening.
A full press release after the jump.
Kunkle, Nowlin receive Stonewall endorsements
After seven hours and 23 interviews, 57 Stonewall Democrats of Dallas members selected to endorse in 12 races for the May 14 municipal election.
Former Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle won the endorsement for Dallas Mayor, which was ratified along with other races by the membership immediately after the endorsement screening ended at 4:45 p.m.
Also winning endorsements for Dallas City Council were Delia Jasso for District 1, Pauline Medrano for District 2, Scott Griggs for District 3, Monica Alonzo for District 6, Cassie Pierce for District 7, Cynthia Durbin for District 10, William Tsao for District 12 and James Nowlin for District 14.
The lone Dallas Independent School District candidate that sought the organization’s endorsement, Mike Morath, was endorsed for District 2.
Candidates for Dallas County School Board Trustees Anthony Pace for District 1 and James Hubener for District 4 were also endorsed.
Stonewall decided not to endorse interim mayor and District 4 City Councilmember Dwaine Caraway and City Councilman Sheffie Kadane for District 9. They were the only ones who screened in their respective races.
“We had a lively discussion and great participation,” said Jesse Garcia, SDD communications director. “Conversation and debate remained civil. We had great candidates seek our support and we’re proud that the process was fair and transparent.”
Stonewall Democrats of Dallas will work hard to promote endorsed candidates over the next eight weeks before Election Day Saturday, May 14.
The deadline to register to vote in time for the May 14 election is Thursday, April 14. Your registration card needs to be postmarked by April 14 or dropped off at the Dallas County Elections Department, located at 2377 N. Stemmons Freeway, Suite 820, in Dallas. Early voting takes place May 2-10.
Stonewall Democrats of Dallas will register voters Saturday, March 26, from 2 to 6 p.m., in front of Hunky’s, located at 3940 Cedar Springs Rd., in Dallas.
“The LGBT community needs to turn out to make sure our voice is heard,” said Garcia. “Only one in eight Dallas voters takes part in city elections. Heavy turnout in our neighborhoods will make a greater difference this time around.”
Candidates who were endorsed will be invited to speak at the next general meeting of the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas, 6 p.m., Tuesday, April 19, at Ojeda’s Restaurant, located at 4617 Maple Ave. in Dallas. Meeting is open to the public. For more information, visit www.stonewalldemocratsofdallas.org.