Last night, Dallas County spokesperson Maria Arita sent word: Toni Pippins-Poole has been named Dallas County Elections Administrator, thus removing the word "interim" from her title. No doubt, longtime observers of county politics aren't stunned by this news. They will say, well, sure, it was inevitable, even after County Judge Clay Jenkins said in January that the county would conduct a nationwide search to find Bruce Sherbet's replacement following his inexplicable ouster in January that briefly bonded Democrats and Republicans.
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After all, Pippins-Poole is friends with Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price; she said as much when we spoke to her in February, while also dismissing there was any "big conspiracy" on Jenkins and Price's part to put her in that position after 24 years as Sherbet's assistant. In the statement sent last night, Jenkins says he looked outside but opted to promote from within:
"We followed the process we all agreed upon and chose the best candidate for the job. In her nearly eight months as Acting Elections Administrator, Ms. Pippins-Poole ran two successful elections without complaint and worked well with the municipalities and school districts across the county.
Our process included a nationwide search that yielded over one hundred applicants from all across the country. The committee chose to interview three finalists and also received extensive survey information from Ms. Poole's subordinates, superiors, and colleagues. I am pleased we could promote this 23-year Dallas County Elections employee to the top position and am confident that she will continue doing a great job for Dallas County."
Which, if nothing else, is good news for Price, who enjoys an open-door policy at DalCo Elections HQ on voting day.