The shoe hanging over the Dallas mayoral election right now is Angela Hunt's endorsement. Depending on which way she goes, Hunt will either give David Kunkle a serious shot at winning or hand Michael Rawlings a cakewalk.
Several weeks ago, before Hunt announced she was not going to run for mayor, knowledgeable sources not connected to Hunt were telling me that her name ID and favorables were polling very respectably in far-nose-bleed North Dallas. Farther south, away from the Oklahoma edge of town, her numbers were even stronger.
Hunt has huge cred all over the city. Every single thing she ever said about the Trinity River project has turned out to be true, earning her points for integrity and courage, not to mention being smart. She probably brings more game than any other person on the scene now. But she's not going to run for mayor, and that's just how it is.
I tried for weeks to find out who she was going to endorse, and I finally flat just gave up, but we can all see this much:
It will not be Natinsky. She has signaled that already.
It should be Kunkle. He's got the kind of David vs. Goliath profile that ought to appeal to her. Rawlings is Citizens Council. He even looks like Goliath.
But it could be Rawlings. Rawlings, let us not forget, is a Democrat. His work as the city's homeless emperor (I may have that title wrong) earned him a lot of respect from people in the Compassionate Camp.
And you know, so he's got the support of the Citizens Council. Maybe we should ask, who on the Citizens Council? Which members? What do they want him to do for them as mayor? Maybe it's not too bad. Maybe he doesn't have to kill anybody. Hunt's pretty adaptive. Rawlings could be the Citizens Council guy and still pass Hunt's muster -- in theory.
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If Hunt did endorse him, then we could just call off the election and hand him the crown, because he's already got it.
If she goes with Kunkle, on the other hand, and gets out there and campaigns with him and helps him raise money, then all of a sudden Kunkle's long shot starts looking more like serious artillery.
Why would she go with Rawlings? You know what? I do not know, but I don't think her reticence on this matter is fake. The gears are turning in that head, and when those gears turn it's for a reason.
All I know for sure is this: Because of the way everybody else is arrayed and given the moment in time, Hunt's endorsement is the game.