She spoke at former Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle's retirement press conference. She appointed Mike Rawlings to be the city's homeless czar. She was mayor when Ron Natinsky replaced Sandy Greyson on the city council and served with him for two years. Edward Okpa finished third on the ballot the year she was elected to her first full term as mayor.
Ex-Mayor Laura Miller knows all four mayoral candidates well, but when we reached out to her last week to talk about the race, the former Observer columnist refused to comment. We couldn't help but contact her again after DMN'er Gromer Jeffers reported yesterday that Miller "has been raising money and securing support for Kunkle behind the scenes."
"I am hosting a reception with Steve at my home for Kunkle, for which we have both mailed invitations, and we are also listed as hosts on a second fundraiser at Mitchell Rasansky's home," Miller said in an email.
Although Miller's a Democrat and Rasansky's a Republican, the two voted similarly and were often on the losing side of 13-2 votes while serving together on the city council. The mayor's race is nonpartisan.
Miller's efforts are hardly a surprise. After all, Miller's husband, former state Rep. Steve Wolens, is Kunkle's campaign treasurer, and Miller and Wolens are close with Kunkle and his wife, Sarah Dodd, who met Kunkle and Miller while working as a City Hall reporter at KTVT-Channel 11.
The News's story also indicated Kunkle's campaign "has sought to minimize Miller's support," but Kunkle emphatically denied that allegation to Unfair Park. In fact, far as he knows, Miller hasn't endorsed his candidacy.
"Frankly, I don't know where she's at on that issue," he says. "The last time I saw her comments, she said she liked me and Rawlings."
Kunkle admits Miller has given him advice, but he stresses he hears it from "every single person" closely watching his campaign.
"What happens is the people that follow campaigns give you unsolicited advice, and they all give you tough love," he says.
But he wants her support, right?
"I think all the candidates would want to have her support," he says. "Most of us want to drum up all the support we can with almost no exceptions."
We're awaiting a reply from Miller about whether she has plans to endorse a candidate.
In other Kunkle endorsement news, Jim Moore, the first candidate to announce for mayor who subsequently quit the race before the filing deadline, just announced his support for the city's former top cop.
"Our City is facing some tough challenges -- and we need a great leader capable of seeing us through these challenging times," Moore says in a release sent to Unfair Park. "David Kunkle understands how government works and how public policy decisions are made. He understands economic development. David Kunkle has widespread support throughout the city with strong relationships at Dallas City Hall and with community leaders. I believe David Kunkle is a positive leader who can bring people together from all sectors to make our community stronger."
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