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Ed Oakley busy during the last days of Dallas' mayoral runoff

By Catherine Cuellar, KERA 90.1 Reporter

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kera/local-kera-597167.mp3

Dallas, TX –

I'm Catherine Cuellar reporting from the Ed Oakley campaign. Latrisa Rogers, Oakley's scheduling secretary, has seen a steady flow of community members calling likely voters

[sound: My name is Leslie and I'm with the Ed Oakley campaign office. Mr. Oakley is currently running for mayor. Thank you very much for your support.]

Cuellar: as well as working on last-minute mailings, driving voters to the polls, and distributing yard signs.

Latrisa Rogers, Oakley scheduler: One thing that has been most helpful to the campaign is we've been heavily scheduled with volunteers. We have so many people pouring in. Brookhaven students. Texas A&M. Neighborhoods, it's been very good for having the help that we needed because it's been very busy.

Cuellar: Craig Murphy, campaign spokesman, is pleased with early voting.

Craig Murphy, Oakley spokesman: Turnout is 125% of what it was in the last round. Leppert's got a conservative bent to his voters. We're looking at moderate and liberal voters and so far that's who's turning out - moderates, liberals, and minorities. That's good news for us.

Cuellar: Murphy says that in addition to votes, Oakley needs dollars.

Murphy: The biggest expense is Dallas television. It's one of the most expensive markets in the country. We have to spend a quarter million dollars a week to stay on television. That's a challenge. Our opponent has outspent us two-to-one. He's spent more per vote than anybody in Dallas history in the mayor's race. It's been very difficult for us to keep pace with that.

Cuellar: While he's perceived as being most popular in the southern sector where he lives, Oakley also carried three districts north of I-30. He cites his role as coordinator of two successful bond programs funding recreation, transportation, and flood protection along the Trinity River. But, his campaign schedule was so packed this week that he missed the groundbreaking for the Trinity River Audubon Center

Oakley: I started the day with a group of women Lucy Billingsley and Jean Phillips Johnson put together for me this morning, about 50 people. I'm on the phone with my contributors trying to raise the last bit of money to do the last mail pieces and I'm the best fundraiser there is. I just spend the time on the phone trying to raise money. Went out to the West Dallas Chamber, had their 5th anniversary lunch, went out there. I've done two TV interviews today. I have a fundraiser tonight and an Asian event tonight, so I'm staying busy.

Cuellar: For the first time since the creation of single-member districts, half of the city's 14 council members will be new. In the home stretch, Oakley is emphasizing he will offer experienced leadership in a time of transition.

Oakley: The fact that I've represented 1/7th of the city by representing two council districts also plays in my favor.

Cuellar: Asked if he has any regrets about the way the campaigns have been run, Oakley remained positive and professional.

Oakley: I think we've done everything we should be doing. I would have raised money a little quicker, a little sooner and a little more often because at the end of the day the runoff is very expensive so raising money to make sure your message stays out because literally my opponent's outspent me two-to-one. I have to stay neck-in-neck with him.

Cuellar: Oakley says his leadership experience and strong base of support in past years' elections are key to his success.
For KERA 90.1, I'm Catherine Cuellar.

Host: Election Day is this Saturday, June 16th. For poll times and locations visit the Voter's Voice page at KERA.org. Tune into KERA on Saturday night for early voting results from 7 to 9pm.