Gay real estate developer Herschel Weisfeld made his bid for City Council District 2 official today.
He filed for Mayor Pro Tem Pauline Medrano’s District 2 seat, which she is vacating due to term limits.
Wiesfeld’s been heavily involved in the arts and historical preservation spheres, starting the Sara Ellen and Samuel Weisfeld Center in honor of his parents. He said he’s excited about the race and looks forward to sharing his diverse experience of cultural knowledge and civic engagement in Dallas with voters.
“I’ve had an active presence and I think it’s important for people to know that I would bring a diverse experience and knowledge to the council to all the diverse communities I’m a part of and have worked with,” he said. “At this point, I think it’s a choice between someone who’s worked on a lot of things instead of someone with a single focus like my opponents.”
DISD trustee Adam Medrano, Pauline Medrano’s nephew, filed for the seat earlier this month after resigning from his position in the Park and Recreation department in January. Community activist Ricky Gonzales has also filed.
Vernon Franko, who’s also gay and ran for District 14 in 2011, returned a Dallas Voice candidate questionnaire and filed a treasurer’s report for District 2. He’s expected to file for office. The deadline to file is March 1.
Dallas hasn’t had an openly gay council member since Ed Oakley resigned in 2007 to run for mayor. Two past openly gay council members, Chris Luna and John Loza, have served District 2.
The district covers most of Oak Lawn, as well as parts of downtown and East Dallas, making it one of the gayest council districts.
Pauline Medrano has been a staunch LGBT ally during her time on the council, riding in the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade and agreeing to support pro-equality two resolutions expected to go before the council this spring in favor of marriage equality and a statewide ban on anti-LGBT job discrimination. Medrano was on the DISD school board when its LGBT nondiscrimination policy passed. And he, too, has ridden on the Dallas Tavern Guild’s float alongside his aunt over the years.
Weisfeld has been active in Dallas’ LGBT community, announcing his candidacy for City Council at last year’s Pride parade. He is a founder of the Oak Lawn Stakeholders Crime Watch group.
Medrano hasn’t returned our calls seeking comment about his run for his aunt’s seat, but he recently launched his campaign and website.