City Hall

Dallas' Most Contentious 2017 City Council Election Appears Set for 2019 Rematch

A Monica Alonzo campaign sign at Reverchon Park in Oak Lawn in 2017.
A Monica Alonzo campaign sign at Reverchon Park in Oak Lawn in 2017. Joe Pappalardo
Former Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Monica Alonzo is looking to retake her spot on the Dallas City Council, two years after being unceremoniously dumped out of her District 6 seat in a June 2017 runoff by Omar Narvaez.

While she has apparently yet to speak to the English-language press about her run — Alonzo did not return a call requesting comment, interview or press release Monday — the former council member told Univision last week that she intends to run again for the seat she held between 2011 and 2017. She also posted a photo on Facebook of her trip to Dallas City Hall to pick up her candidate packet. Narvaez defeated Alonzo by almost 13 points in their 2017 runoff after trailing Alonzo by 11 points in the first round of voting in May. In the month between the first round election and the runoff, Alonzo's campaign accused Narvaez of cheating through illegal vote harvesting.
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Omar Narvaez (center) celebrates the deal that allowed hundreds of renters of homes owned by Khraish Khraish in West Dallas to avoid eviction.
Jim Schutze
On election day, Dallas County officials sequestered hundreds of ballots connected to an alleged ballot harvester named "Jose Rodriguez." Jose Plata, a former Dallas ISD board member and Alonzo spokesman, told the Observer at the time that he believed the Narvaez campaign stole votes, but the disputed ballots broke along similar lines to those cast in person, with a plurality going to Alonzo.

Narvaez denied the Alonzo campaign's claims and alleged that its mail-in voting practices resulted in the illegal ballots.

A Dallas County grand jury indicted a man named Miguel Hernandez for illegal voting in July 2017 as part of an investigation that followed Narvaez's runoff triumph. Investigators in the case tied Hernandez to at least one tainted ballot turned in to the Dallas County Elections Department during the District 6 election. The ballot was signed "Jose Rodriguez," the alias attached to more than 700 ballots sequestered by a Dallas County judge in the days after the May 6 election.

In June 2018, Hernandez pleaded guilty to illegal voting and was sentenced to 180 days in jail.

According to campaign finance reports filed last week, Alonzo raised more than $10,000 during the last six months of 2018, despite not having officially entered the race. Narvaez, who stressed his desire to see his West Dallas district continue the progress it's made during his two years in office, has raised more than $33,000 over the same span.

"I am proud of my record over the past two years," he said, "and am confident that the residents of District 6 want to continue to move forward with our work of building stronger neighborhoods."
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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