Dallas City Council candidate Philip Kingston comes out as a Democrat

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The Texas Democratic Party Oath of Affiliation signed by Philip Kingston in March.

District 14 Dallas City Council candidate Philip Kingston came out as a Democrat on Saturday during a District 14 forum at the Oak Lawn Library.

Although council races are nonpartisan, District 14 leans strongly Democratic. And Kingston’s party affiliation has come under scrutiny since he signed an oath declaring his allegiance to the Democratic Party to become eligible for an endorsement from Stonewall Democrats of Dallas in March. Despite Kingston signing the oath, Stonewall’s endorsement went to Bobby Abtahi, his opponent in the District 14 runoff June 15.

Kingston has voted in five Republican primaries and one Democratic primary since 2002. Last month, he reportedly told The Dallas Morning News he’s an independent. But on Saturday, Kingston suggested the newspaper had misquoted him — and that he merely said he thinks independent-LY.

“I’m a Democrat and actually a fully paid-up member of the Stonewall Democrats,” Kingston said. “I’ll comply with that oath. I’m a fully paid-up member of the Stonewall Democrats and a straight ally.”

—  John Wright

FEEDBACK: Stonewall Dems still relevant

Stonewall Dems still relevant

Stonewall Democrats continues to be an important and relevant voice in the civic life of GLBT Dallas. In fact, most candidates seek out the opportunity to interview and screen with Stonewall in election years.

If Stonewall were irrelevant, as some seem to imply from recent comments via Instant Tea and elsewhere, these candidates would not take the time to seek out the endorsement.

Whenever there is a hotly contested election, invariably one side gets upset and calls the organization “irrelevant.” That is a natural response.

Stonewall Democrats of Dallas has a fair, and open endorsement process, and any member in good standing is welcome to participate in that process.

With that said, however, I think I need to say that we don’t automatically endorse a candidate just because he or she happens to be gay. We consider each candidate in his or her entirety.

We certainly consider whether a candidate is a member of the GLBT community, but that isn’t the only thing we consider when making endorsements.

As a longtime member and former officer of Stonewall, I have seen and participated in many endorsement and candidate screenings over the years. This time it is fair and accurate to say that our Membership and Endorsement Committee was split right down the middle with regard to Angela Hunt and James Nowlin in the race for Dallas City Council District 14.

I couldn’t help but notice what seemed to be a generational divide in this particular race. What I noticed was that younger Stonewall members — under 40 — tended to back Nowlin. Those who are more mature (ok, call us old if you must) Stonewall members — over 40 — tended to back Hunt.

There were exceptions of course. But I think this is, overall, a fair and accurate statement.

While the vote on the Endorsement Committee was razor-thin, at the end of the day Nowlin received the most votes and, hence, he received the Stonewall endorsement. I personally supported Angela Hunt because I think she has done a superb job as a member of the City Council. She does her homework and knows the issues facing this city inside and out.

Another reason I personally chose to back Angela Hunt is because she’s not afraid to buck the establishment when necessary. I think it’s important to have people on the Dallas City Council who are fighters, and won’t just be a rubber stamp.

At the end of the day, Hunt won almost every single precinct in District 14, so the voters not only in the M Streets and Lakewood area, but also in Turtle Creek/Uptown, Oak Lawn, all the way up to Greenway Parks and Bluffview clearly feel like Ms. Hunt is doing a good job representing them.

I applaud Mr. Nowlin’s enthusiasm. He’s a bright and articulate young man, and I think he learned an important lesson by running, namely that it’s difficult to beat a very popular incumbent.

Jay Narey
Dallas

—  John Wright

James Nowlin says he didn’t congratulate Angela Hunt because she ‘does not want the job’

James Nowlin

The other day we reported that openly gay candidate James Nowlin had failed to congratulate Angela Hunt after she defeated him in the District 14 Dallas City Council race. In response to our post, commenters on Facebook suggested that Nowlin did congratulate Hunt — during a concession speech at his election night watch party. So today we contacted Nowlin — who hadn’t returned our phone calls from Saturday night — seeking clarification.

Nowlin explained that he did “wish [Hunt] the best” during his speech at the watch party. However, he said he doesn’t plan to contact her directly or congratulate her.

“I will not be congratulating somebody who does not want the job,” Nowlin said. “I will not be reaching out to her directly because I don’t believe that that’s where her heart is. Her heart is in being mayor, not being councilwoman for the 14th district. And I don’t believe in congratulating somebody who does not want the job.”

—  John Wright

James Nowlin fails to congratulate Angela Hunt

Angela Hunt, left, and James Nowlin

Late Saturday we put in calls to both Angela Hunt and James Nowlin, after it was clear Hunt had easily defeated Nowlin on her way to a fourth and final term representing District 14 on the Dallas City Council.

In a race that sharply divided the LGBT community over the last few months, Hunt captured 67 percent of the vote to Nowlin’s 28 percent. Hunt is a staunch LGBT ally who was endorsed by the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance. Nowlin is openly gay and was endorsed by Stonewall Democrats of Dallas.

Neither Hunt nor Nowlin called us back right away — or if they did we were already gone and they didn’t leave messages. However, we noticed that both have now posted thank-you notes to supporters on their websites.

Interestingly, Hunt indicates in her note that she didn’t receive a phone call from Nowlin congratulating her. In fact, she doesn’t even mention Nowlin.

“Lastly, I received messages of congratulations from two of my opponents — Brian Oley and Vernon Franko — and I thank you for your gracious words,” Hunt writes. “You both ran positive, issue-driven campaigns, and it was a pleasure getting to know you.”

Nowlin doesn’t congratulate Hunt in his thank-you to supporters, either.

“Although we did not achieve a victory on Election Night, we put the 14th District on notice that one in three voters expects more,” Nowlin writes. “We have made a difference. This is just the beginning.”

It’s a shame the bad blood apparently continues between these two. Let’s hope the LGBT community can bury the hatchet, even if certain candidates can’t.

—  John Wright