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Gromer Jeffers: No 'Quiet Time' For Dallas County Politics

Gromer Jeffers Jr. is a columnist with the Dallas Morning News.

The month after an election is generally thought to be a political ‘quiet time.’ This year, the past few weeks in North Texas has been pretty noisy. First, Fort Worth mayor Betsy Price announced her re-election bid on KERA, and this week, the mayor of Dallas said he’ll run again. GromerJeffers with The Dallas Morning News sat down to talk about local politics in this week’s Friday Conversation.

Interview Highlights: Gromer Jeffers…

…on Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings’ decision to run for re-election:

“He actually considered just leaving it at one term. There were folks who didn’t want the chaos if he decided not to run again. He has all these projects out there that need to come to some sort of climax.

[Rawlings] will probably have one or two opponents, but he’ll have all the money, all the resources, and it will be extremely difficult for an opponent to mount some sort of campaign.”

…On the significance of Susan Hawk’s win over Craig Watkins:

“If you look at the others on the ballot, every other Democrat won comfortably. Craig Watkins collapsed. People were deselecting him on a straight-ticket ballot, which meant they voted for all the other Democrats but did not vote for him. He didn’t have any crossover appeal, he didn’t run a real campaign, he had no resources to reach voters in southern Dallas’s base. It was just a horrible campaign."

…On the future of the Dallas County political parties:

"For Democrats, Darlene Ewing has been chairwoman since 2005… If Democrats can coalesce around a candidate, they’ll be okay because what they have going for them is the demographics.

Wade Emmert, the local Republican Party chair, wants to replace Steve Munisteri, who will leave sometime next year. If [Emmert] leaves, Republicans will have to find another local party chairman and that could be difficult. They’ve been losing a lot, so who wants to take over? It’s a tough job." 

Former KERA staffer Krystina Martinez was an assistant producer. She produced local content for Morning Edition and She also produced The Friday Conversation, a weekly series of conversations with North Texas newsmakers. Krystina was also the backup newscaster for the Texas Standard.
Rick Holter is KERA's vice president of news. He oversees news coverage on all of KERA's platforms – radio, digital and television. Under his leadership, KERA News has earned more than 200 local, regional and national awards, including the station's first two national Edward R. Murrow Awards. He and the KERA News staff were also part of NPR's Ebola-coverage team that won a George Foster Peabody Award, broadcasting's highest honor.