A majority of mayoral candidate Scott Griggs' colleagues on the Dallas City Council, including Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, endorsed his opponent in the mayor's race Tuesday afternoon.
State Rep. Eric Johnson is the best choice to lead the city, Rawlings and the council members said, because he will unite Dallas.
"Eric Johnson epitomizes the very best of what our city has to offer," Rawlings said. "He is a proven collaborator who has won the confidence of former and current elected officials with whom he serves. A successful mayor must be a uniter, not a divider. Eric will be that unifying force that the people of Dallas deserve."
If Rawlings' rhetoric seems a little familiar, that's because it's consistent with the theme of Dallas' 2019 municipal election, as pushed by The Dallas Morning News and candidates running against Griggs and his longtime council ally, Philip Kingston. Griggs and Kingston, the argument goes, can't be effective because they've alienated council colleagues, city staff and constituents during fights over the Trinity toll road, Fair Park and, more recently, Dallas' remaining Confederate monuments and paid sick leave.
Johnson thanked Rawlings, as well as City Council members Casey Thomas, Carolyn King Arnold, Rickey Callahan, Tennell Atkins, Adam McGough, Lee Kleinman and Jennifer Gates for throwing their weight into the race.
“These are great public servants,” Johnson said. “I know that they do not take the decision to endorse in this race lightly, and I don’t take their decision lightly either. All of us are eager to move past the divisiveness of recent years and work together to do what’s best for this city. We will have some disagreements in the future, but we will work through them in a collaborative and productive fashion.”
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Endorsements are starting to pile up for Johnson, who's represented West Dallas in the Texas House since 2010. Rawlings is the fourth Dallas mayor to back Johnson, after Steve Bartlett, Ron Kirk and Tom Leppert.
With a little more than three weeks remaining until election day, Griggs' biggest endorsement so far has come from the Dallas Police Association.
In a statement Tuesday, Griggs touted the support he's received from council allies such as Kingston, Adam Medrano, Omar Narvaez and Sandy Greyson.
"We are proud of the support by current and former City Council members, state elected officials, a former congressman and the hundreds of individuals across the city of Dallas," Griggs said. "We represent a new kind of mayor, one who listens to all voices and works for everyone’s needs to address public safety, infrastructure and escalating property taxes.”