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City of Dallas: What to know about the May 6 general election

General elections in the City of Dallas are May 6. All but one city council races are contested.

Dallas is likely to have the same mayor after Saturday's election, but the city council will include some new faces.

Two incumbents are not seeking reelection and all but one other the remaining council seats are contested.

And in other parts of the city, incumbents are facing multiple challengers.

Among the issues for candidates running for office — and for voters on Saturday: public safety, economic development and government transparency.

“In city government people often say, there’s no Republican or Democrat way to fill potholes,” Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University said. “…there’s just a lot of meat and potatoes work to be done.”

Two open seats

District 10 Council Member Adam McGough and District 3 Council Member Casey Thomas are not seeking reelection due to term limits. Both seats are highly contested — each with four or five candidates running.

Among the candidates vying for the open seat in District 3 are a former city commissioner, a retired educator, a former first responder and the head of a nonprofit.

District 3 is comprised of a large part of southern Dallas. Racial equity is a big issue. Thomas has been a strong supporter of the city's equity initiative that was launched late last year.

Five candidates are seeking to succeed Thomas:

  • Zarin Gracey is a former zoning commissioner for District 3 and is focused on budgeting, economic development and community engagement, according to his campaign website. Thomas has been vocal in his endorsement of Gracey.
  • John Sims is another challenger to represent District 3. He is a former Dallas Community Emergency Response team member and was a first responder with the Cockrell Hill Fire Department. His campaign site notes infrastructure and homelessness as some of his campaign's priorities.
  • Joe Tave, a retired school teacher, has campaigned to represent District 3 in 2015 and again in 2021. He has served on a plethora of city boards and commissions and has been a resident of southern Dallas for 31 years.
  • August Doyle has marketed his campaign on three pillars, according to his campaign website: He’s been in the community for 55 years, he is a youth mentor and a community watchdog.
  • Denise Benavides is a nonprofit foundation leader originally from Los Angeles, California. She settled in Grand Prairie in 2011. On her campaign website she says she was invited to become a member of the Grand Prairie Hispanic Chamber in 2013. She has been in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas since 2017 and notes equity across city government as one of her central priorities.

McGough is also wrapping up his last term in the horseshoe. The four candidates who want to represent District 10 include a “conservative businessman,” a media publisher, a financial analyst and a Lake Highlands community leader.
They are:

  • Sirrano Baldeo is campaigning for the second time to represent District 10. Baldeo says he is publisher of the online site Dallas Pulse News.
  • According to Chris Carter’s campaign site he is a “hard-working conservative that will bring real results to Dallas.” Carter is endorsed by the Dallas County Republican Party and has focused his campaign on bolstering law enforcement and “eliminating woke diversity equity and inclusion programs that push forward a divisive political agenda.”
  • Brian Hasenbauer, a 17-year Lake Highlands resident, has a background as a financial analyst and a McGough-appointed city commissioner. His campaign website notes public safety – and police accountability – lower taxes and government transparency as some of his campaign’s priorities.
  •  Kathy Stewart oversaw the Lake Highlands Public Improvement District, according to her campaign site. She hopes that her leadership experience will make Dallas voters more inclined to choose her to represent District 10. Like the other candidates she has noted public safety, financial stability and green spaces as top priorities for her campaign.

Running for reelection

District 12 Council Member Cara Mendelsohn, who is running truly unopposed. But the remaining 11 incumbents are trying to stay on the council.

In District 7, Council Member Adam Bazaldua is running against three other candidates.

Bazaldua has been vocal in recent months over a group of bills currently moving through the state legislature that would officially change how local government operates. Along with his criticism of the bill, his campaign has focused on his track record in city council and his more progressive tendencies around the horseshoe.

Mayor Pro Tem Carolyn King Arnold, District 2 Council Member Jessie Moreno and District 9 Council Member Paula Blackmon are all running against only one other challenger in their districts.

District 11 Council Member Jaynie Schultz is facing off against real estate journalist and publisher of the website Candy’s Dirt, Candace Evans. Evans previously ran in the 2021 general election against Schultz.

The list of candidates running for office includes Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson as well. Local media has reported Johnson is the first sitting mayor to run “unopposed” since 1967. But that's not the whole story. The mayor’s name might be the only one printed on Dallas voter’s ballots, but technically he is not running alone.

Voters will choose between the current mayor and one write-in candidate. Dallas City Secretary Billierae Johnson says write-in candidates must be eligible voters and file a form with the county. Kendal Richardson, a 44-year-old New York native, was the only person to do so.

“What it means is that he can present the most positive view of his first term as mayor, without being challenged by an opponent who might raise questions about those accomplishments and might point to things that failed to get done,” Jillson said.

Election day is May 6 and polls will be open from 7 a.m. till 7 p.m.

Got a tip? Email Nathan Collins at You can follow Nathan on Twitter @nathannotforyou.

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Nathan Collins is the Dallas Accountability Reporter for KERA. Collins joined the station after receiving his master’s degree in Investigative Journalism from Arizona State University. Prior to becoming a journalist, he was a professional musician.