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Politics

Who Are The Runoff Candidates In Dallas' District 7?

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After Saturday's election, the field of eight City Council candidates has been narrowed to two who are well-known to the district.

Six Dallas city council seats are headed to runoffs. KERA caught up with two candidates going head-to-head once again in District 7.

Out of eight candidates, incumbent Adam Bazaldua finished with nearly 40% of the vote. Former council member Kevin Felder, who lost to Bazaldua in the last election, eked out 2nd place, with 15.5%.

Dallas mayor Eric Johnson targeted Bazaldua and other incumbents for defeat this election, with little success. Donald Parish, Johnson’s District 7 candidate, didn't make it to the runoff, but like the mayor, challenger Felder is now calling out Bazaldua for cutting money from the police overtime budget.

“If you know,” Felder said, “and he knew, that the police department was understaffed, then why would you go and take away the overtime pay for the police officers that needed the overtime pay, because they're understaffed? That's unconscionable.”

Bazaldua said that's disingenuous, and public safety was not compromised.

“The Dallas police department's budget grew $15 million from last year to this year,” Bazaldua said. “Patrol units were not cut in any stretch. And we are trying to be innovative and address crime, not only in the way that we have done for so long, but also in other more innovative ways.”

Bazaldua said he also brought grocery stores with good jobs to the district, which has a high rate of food insecurity, and protected thousands of residents from eviction during the pandemic.

Felder said when he served, he backed the city’s billion-dollar bond package that sent millions to Fair Park, and supported funding for a new park that will be similar to Klyde Warren downtown.

The runoff election is June 5.

Got a tip? Email Reporter Bill Zeeble at bzeeble@kera.org. You can follow him on Twitter @bzeeble.

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