Late Wednesday afternoon brought another twist for May's municipal election, as Dallas City Council member Mark Clayton announced he will not seek a third term. Clayton has represented portions of East and northeast Dallas since 2015, when he cruised to an easy victory by winning almost 60 percent of the votes in a four-candidate election.
Working at City Hall while maintaining his insurance business at the same time for two more years was too much, Clayton said in a lengthy Facebook post.
"My departure is bittersweet. By the time my term ends this spring, I will have worked two full-time jobs for four years," Clayton said. "It has been hard to balance my time between the two, and too many times my family has had to play third string to my jobs."
Like most retiring politicians and athletes, Clayton said he intends to spend more time with his wife and kids as he steps away from the council.
"I don’t know what the future holds, but I know I can’t get back time missed with them. It will be nice going back to being the fun Dad and the perfectly adequate husband," he said.
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Clayton joined the council on the promise that he would work with Sandy Greyson, Scott Griggs, Philip Kingston and Adam Medrano to kill the long-proposed Trinity toll road once and for all. Thanks to shifting political winds and further progressive victories in the 2017 Dallas election, he helped do just that in August 2017.
In his goodbye letter, Clayton also touted all the work he's done for his own neighborhood, including replacing aging infrastructure and improving city facilities in his district.
"We have dirt moving in Casa View and a new aquatics center coming to Harry Stone. We redeveloped the old Steakley Chevrolet site, got funding for sidewalks to connect Garland Road, and stoplights for Buckner, Mockingbird, Abrams and others," Clayton said. "We are connecting the trail system at White Rock Lake and putting public art at the Bath House (and you will be able to get to it because bond money is going into streets)."
Clayton's decision not to run leaves the race in District 9 open. No candidate has filed to run in the district, likely thanks to Clayton's dominant performances in 2015 and 2017. The filing deadline for May's election is just three weeks away, on Feb. 15.