In Dallas Mayor’s Race, Eric Johnson Defeats Scott Griggs
Eric Johnson, a Texas state representative, will be the next mayor of Dallas.
Johnson defeated City Council member Scott Griggs. Johnson had a commanding lead throughout Saturday night, winning with 56% of the vote.
At his victory speech, Johnson thanked supporters and recounted his West Dallas roots. He told the crowd that Saturday's victory meant that Dallas voters were telling him to "come home" after serving in the Texas House for several years.
“I’m a person who loves Dallas," Johnson said. "I saw my city at a turning point at a very, very important juncture in its history. ... We had a choice to make -- whether we were going to double down on division and name-calling and lack of decorum and lack of unity of purpose and lack of unity of spirit -- or we were going to change direction."
Johnson had received endorsements from several city leaders, including outgoing mayor Mike Rawlings and several City Council members. He raised more money than Griggs. Johnson also had the most votes during the May general election – but with a field of nine candidates, no one won outright.
Griggs posted a message on Twitter Saturday night, thanking people for their support: "This campaign was possible because of each of you, and we will never forget all you did. Keep up the good fight."
Johnson, who's represented parts of Dallas and Mesquite in the Texas House since 2010, said during the campaign that he would be effective at forming coalitions and that his experience in Austin has taught him to be a collaborative leader.
"My reputation is that I work very well with from both sides of the aisle and from different parts of our state, and that's something," he said during a recent debate. "I'll continue as mayor. What I've been for the past 10 years is someone who consistently has gone out of his way to work with others."
Johnson and others had criticized Griggs during the campaign. Some have called Griggs divisive during his time on the City Council. Johnson said there had been "sniping" and "fighting" among city leaders.
Griggs said he had the requisite City Hall experience to get the job done.
"I work with everyone on the City Council," Griggs said during a recent debate. "I have a thick skin and big heart which is what it takes to be a leader here in the city of Dallas. And too often people label common sense as divisiveness.”
Dallas City Council races
There were four Dallas City Council seats on the runoff ballot: District 4 incumbent Carolyn King Arnold defated Dawn Blair – 53% to 47%. In District 9, Paula Blackmon heads to the council after defeating Erin Moore, 52 % to 48%.
In District 7, Adam Bazaldua defated Tiffinni Young, although it was very close: 51% to 49%.
District 14 incumbent Philip Kingston won't be returning to the council. David Blewett won with 54% of the vote. Many Dallas politicos followed the race closely. As The Dallas Morning News reported in April, critics have called Kingston “abrasive and domineering, using his position on the Dallas City Council to bully and berate opponents, and blithely step over rules when he sees fit.”
Large Eric Johnson gathering at The Fairmont Hotel where Johnson is expected to appear around 9pm. Son of West Dallas rises to lead the early vote count in run off election for Mayor. Big step up from May Election night restaurant location. @NBCDFW #NBCDFWNow pic.twitter.com/OcGbxyhwPZ— Ken Kalthoff (@KenKalthoffNBC5) June 9, 2019
Thank you everyone for your hard work over the last six months. This campaign was possible because of each of you, and we will never forget all you did. Keep up the good fight.— Scott Griggs (@griggsfordallas) June 9, 2019
On the Dallas ISD school board, Karla Garcia defeated Camile White -- 59% to 41%.
In Arlington, Ignacio Nunez defeated Andy Prior -- 58% to 42% -- to win a runoff for District 5 on the City Council.
In Plano, there were two City Council races on the ballot: In Place 7, Lily Bao defated Ann Bacchus, 57% to 43%. In Place 5, Shelby Williams defeated incumbent Ron Kelley, 53% to 47%.
In Tarrant County, in the Forest Hill mayor’s race, Gerald Joubert defeated Lyndia Thomas, 61% to 39%. Thomas resigned as mayor earlier this year after being accused of misusing city funds to buy tickets to an event featuring former First Lady Michelle Obama. Thomas, who filed for re-election soon after submitting her resignation, has said she was entitled to be reimbursed for her expenses.
Results, county by county:
For more results, click on the county's elections department website below:
Across North Texas
Across North Texas, there were runoffs for seats on several City Councils, including Arlington, Plano, Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Grand Prairie, Richardson and Rowlett. There were also runoffs for City Council seats in Celina, Prosper, Fairview, Anna, River Oaks and Saginaw. In Forest Hill, there were mayoral and City Council runoffs.
Voters in San Antonio re-elected Mayor Ron Nirenberg. Learn more from Texas Public Radio in San Antonio.
KERA's Bill Zeeble contributed to this report.