Early voting begins today

vote-buttonEarly voting in the May runoff from the March primary begins Monday, May 19. If no candidate received 50 percent of the vote in the primary, the top two candidates face each other in the runoff.

Stonewall Democrats endorsed in the following runoff races:

  • U.S. Senate: David M. Alameel
  • Dallas County District Clerk: Felicia Pitre
  • Dallas County Treasurer: Pauline Medrano
  • State Rep. House District 105: Susan Motley
  • State Board Of Education, District 13: Erika Beltran
  • Justice Of The Peace, Pct. 4, Place 2: Katy Hubener
  • Justice Of The Peace, Pct. 5, Place 1: Sara Martinez
  • Constable, Precinct 5: Beth Villarreal

 

In the U.S. Senate race, David Alameel faces Keisha Rodgers. The Texas Democratic Party put out a warning on Rodgers because her main platform item is impeaching President Obama.

Despite a number of calls to the Alameel campaign and assurances from the campaign that he supports LGBT equality and would add it to his website, nothing on his website indicates any support for LGBT issues. When he ran for the U.S. House of Representatives, he didn’t appear at the Stonewall Democrats candidate forum and didn’t return a Dallas Voice questionnaire. Rep. Marc Veasey won that race. He also sent anyone to represent him at Stonewall endorsements earlier this year.

However, Alameel is scheduled to appear at Tuesday’s Stonewall meeting. Other candidates expected to appear are Medrano, Beltran, Hubener, Martinez and Villareal.

Stonewall Democrats meeting takes place at Ojeda’s, 4617 Maple Ave. on May 20 at 6:30 p.m.

Early voting takes place May 19–23, 7 a.m.–7 p.m.

There is no voting location in Oak Lawn. The Grauwyler Library on Gilford Street location is the closest. It was moved from Grauwyler Recreation Center. The library is located off Harry Hines Boulevard in the same park as the recreation center.

Also close to Oak Lawn is the Records Building in Downtown Dallas. Meter fees are suspended outside the Records Building during early voting.

Early voting locations:

  • Bethany Lutheran Church, 10101 Walnut Hill Lane
  • Crosswinds High School, 1100 N Carrier Pkwy., Grand Prairie
  • DeSoto Town Center Library, 211 E Pleasant Run Road, Desoto
  • Duncanville Library, 201 James Collins Blvd., Duncanville
  • Eastfield College Pleasant Grove Campus, 802 S Buckner Blvd.
  • El Centro College-West Campus, 3330 N Hampton Road
  • Fretz Park Library, 6990 Belt Line Road
  • Grauwyler Park Library, 2146 Gilford St. (NOTE: moved from Grauwyler Park Recreation Center)
  • Irving City Hall, 825 W Irving Blvd., Irving
  • Josey Ranch Library, 1700 Keller Springs Road, Carrollton
  • Lakeside Activity Center, 101 Holley Park Dr., Mesquite
  • Lancaster Veterans Memorial Library, 1600 Veterans Memorial Pkwy., Lancaster
  • Lochwood Library, 11221 Lochwood Blvd.
  • Marsh Lane Baptist Church, 10716 Marsh Lane
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Core Bldg., 2922 MLK Blvd.
  • Martin Weiss Recreation Center., 1111 Martindell Ave.
  • Oak Cliff Sub-Courthouse, 410 S Beckley Ave.
  • Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 7611 Park Lane
  • Paul Laurence Dunbar Lancaster-Kiest Library, 2008 E Kiest Blvd.
  • Records Building (Main Location), 509 Main St.
  • Richardson Civic Center, 411 W Arapaho Road, Richardson
  • Richland College-Garland Campus, 675 W Walnut St., Garland
  • Rowlett City Hall Annex, 4004 Main St., Rowlett
  • Samuell Grand Rec. Center, 6200 East Grand Ave.
  • Valley Ranch Library, 401 Cimarron Trail, Irving

 

On Election Day, May 27, voters may cast a ballot only at their local precinct.

—  David Taffet

Early voting in runoff election off to slow start

For those who missed it, there is an election happening in Houston right now. Four City Council races wound up in run-offs after the November 8 municipal elections and Houstonians have until December 10 to decide the fate of these crucial races.  So far fewer than 2,000 people have voted. Without a “big ticket” item like the mayor’s race at the top of the ballot turnout in the runoff is expected to be very low. The upshot of which is that every ballot cast carries more weight than ever.

Two of the races are at-large seats, so every citizen of Houston gets to vote on this races:

  • In At-large position 2 former State Representative Kristi Thibaut faces Andrew C. Burks Jr. Pastor of Bailey Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.
  • In At-large position 5 incumbent council member Jolanda Jones faces Jack Christie, former State Board of Education member .

Two of the races are for district seats, so only people who live in those districts get to vote on these races:

  • In District A incumbent council member Brenda Stardig faces republican activist Helena Brown.
  • In District B local restauranteur and education advocate Jerry Davis faces Alvin Byrd, current staffer for council member Jarvis Johnson.

Early voting continues through December 6th, election day is November 8. Voters may cast their ballot at any early voting location. Visit harrisvotes.org to find your election day polling location (it may be different than your November polling place) and to view a sample ballot.

—  admin

ELECTION: Hightower says voters want change

Chris HIghtower

Early vote totals up in runoff; gay candidate says anti-gay tactics ‘falling on deaf ears’

TAMMYE NASH  |  Senior Editor
nash@dallasvoice.com

ARLINGTON — Conventional wisdom says that turnout in a runoff election will be lower than in the general election. But if early vote numbers are any indication, voters in Arlington’s District 5 are defying conventional wisdom.

And Chris Hightower thinks that’s a good sign.

Hightower is the gay man challenging incumbent Lana Wolff for the District 5 seat on Arlington’s City Council. Hightower came out on top of the five-candidate heap in the May 14 general election, with 39 percent of the vote. Wolff, first elected to the council in 2003, earned a place in the runoff with 35 percent of the vote.

In the May 14 general election, District 5 voters cast 1,179 early ballots, including mail-in ballots. Of those early votes, 42 percent went to Hightower, compared to 34 percent to Wolff.

Early voting for the runoff ended Tuesday, June 14, with a total of 1,196 ballots, including mail-in ballots, cast, Hightower said.

Hightower, who if he is elected would be Arlington’s first openly gay council member, said this week that he has concentrated his runoff campaign efforts on keeping his supporters motivated and on getting them back out to the polls for a second time. And he said he thinks the high early vote turnout means he has accomplished his goal.

“We feel good,” Hightower said Wednesday, June 15. “I think the early vote shows we’ve got a lot of motivated voters out there.”

Hightower said that there are a number of “hot-button” issues drawing voters back to the poll, including the city’s thoroughfare development plan and a hike and bike plan now under consideration.

But, he added, he thinks voters’ desire for new representation is the biggest draw.

“It’s been awhile since we had any real change at city hall, and the voters are ready for it now,” Hightower said.

Although none of the other four candidates in the general election tried to make an issue of Hightower’s sexual orientation, the candidate did find himself the target of anti-gay campaigning by at least one Arlington resident.

“It happened in the general election campaign, and it continued into the runoff,” Hightower said. “I guess that kind of thing is probably typical of politics in general. But we’re just keeping our head down and keeping on talking about the real issues, the things the voters care about. And I think [the anti-gay tactics] are falling on deaf ears.

“The personal attacks just aren’t getting it any more,” he continued. “Voters in municipal elections are smart. They are concerned about the real issues, things like good streets, cutting down on crime and keeping the city safe, creating and keeping good neighbors. Those kinds of personal attacks just aren’t getting any traction with the voters.”

Hightower added, “People care about the issues. People are ready for a change, and we have given them something to vote for.”

Polls in Arlington will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday.

—  John Wright

It’s probably time for LGBT groups to start paving new political inroads to mayor’s office

Mike Rawlings, left, and David Kunkle

In terms of flexing their political muscle, Dallas’ LGBT political activists have shown a somewhat lackluster performance in the municipal election this year.

Businessman Mike Rawlings, the apparent frontrunner in the mayoral race that concludes in a runoff election June 18, failed to receive endorsements from either Stonewall Democrats of Dallas or the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance Political Action Committee. Instead, DGLA endorsed Ron Natinsky, the losing candidate in the election, and Stonewall Democrats endorsed David Kunkle, who came in second and faces Rawlings in the runoff. DGLA even expressed reservations about Rawlings, and the group has endorsed Kunkle in the runoff.

But Rawlings, who enjoys the endorsements of The Dallas Morning News, most current and former elected officials — including gay ones — and even Natinsky, appears to be headed for victory. Kunkle, the former Dallas police chief who proved himself to be a good friend to the LGBT community, is greatly admired and respected in the LGBT community, but it just doesn’t look like he is going to be our next mayor.

Given all of that, maybe it’s time for LGBT political leaders to start paving a political inroad to a potential Rawlings mayoral administration. We’ve enjoyed remarkable access to the mayor’s office for many years now to our enormous benefit, and we sure don’t want to lose that.

In the District 12 council runoff, there is an opportunity to elect Sandy Greyson, who as a former councilwoman voted favorably on LGBT issues during her previous four terms in that seat. Greyson, who also is endorsed by The Dallas Morning News, stepped down because of terms limits and passed the seat to Natinsky, who also proved himself to also be an ally. Greyson’s opponent in the runoff, financial planner Donna Starnes, is an unknown factor in regard to LGBT issues. As a Tea Party member and organizer, her alliances could possibly put her on a collision path with our community.

However the runoff turns out, the LGBT community seems to be on solid ground with so many political allies already seated, despite the fact that two openly gay candidates lost their bids for council places. But it never hurts to be on the winning side in politics, especially at the top of City Hall

Early voting in the runoffs continues through June 14. You don’t have to have voted in the May election to vote in the runoff. For a list of early voting times and locations, go here.

—  admin