Dallas County

Caraway vs. Price: the Story So Far

Dwaine Caraway against John Wiley Price for the District 3 county commissioner seat was always going to be a fantastically entertaining election — as long as you're the type who enjoys zero-sum political theater and doesn't care too much about policy or people maintaining a minimal level of decorum.

During a debate at Dallas' KHVN radio station Monday, a fight broke out between Price and Caraway. Caraway — who did not respond to requests for comment from the Observer — said in a radio interview on The Ticket Tuesday morning that Price was repeatedly calling him a "bitch" whenever KHVN's microphones were turned off. When Price attacked one of Caraway's staffers, Caraway said, the former mayor lost his cool, leading to the altercation captured on video.

Micah Phillips, who's also running in District 3, shot multiple videos of the incident. His recollections differ significantly from Caraway's. Phillips says Caraway was upset with Price for what Caraway called 25 years of bad blood.

Chief among the accusations, judging from what Caraway says in the longest video of the fight, is that Price had sex with his wife, though which wife — Caraway's been married twice — wasn't said. Caraway said Tuesday afternoon at a press conference that he was talking about his first wife.

"I've been married more than once and those comments that I made had nothing to do with my recent wife," Caraway said.

"Fuck John, fuck John. I'm gonna fuck his motherfucking ass," Caraway says. "I'm tired of you. I'm tired of you. You fucked up my house, nigga. You were fucking my wife."

Shortly thereafter, Caraway was hauled out of the studio, with station personnel yelling that KHVN is a gospel station in the background.

Price is Dallas' quintessential political operator — "our man downtown," as he's known in his district. Caraway is, or was, the perfect challenger to Price's throne. He's charismatic, well liked by Dallas' media and has enough experience — thanks to four two-year terms on the City Council and a brief stint as mayor following Tom Leppert's 2011 resignation — that Price can't call him a neophyte. Throw in Price's federal corruption indictment and upcoming trial, and Price faced a serious threat of finally getting knocked off his central and southern Dallas County perch.

And then Monday happened. Caraway, who's positioned himself as the clean antidote to Price, was suddenly down in the mud with the commissioner. Caraway needed to do everything right to beat Price. Now, suddenly, he hasn't.

Additional video from Phillips shows some of the run-up to Caraway's full meltdown.
"Nigga, I will hurt you, I'll hurt you," Caraway screams at Price.

Caraway tells The Ticket that additional video, which he says shows more of Price's actions, will be made available by his campaign Tuesday afternoon.

Police were called to the scene, but no arrests were made. The Democratic primary showdown between Caraway and Price is March 1.
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Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young