City Hall

Dwaine Caraway Talks About Why He's Decided Not to Run for Dallas Mayor After All

Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway just sent The Official Announcement: He's decided not to run for mayor after all. His statement follows, but I also spoke to Caraway about his decision -- one he came to, he says, after speaking with his family and concluding that now was not the right time. Which isn't to say he won't ever run ...

"Am I ready?" he says from his office at City Hall. "Yeah. Can I rally? Yeah. Do I have the money? No. Can I win? Yeah. However, is that the right thing to do and is this the right time to do it? I could stand more seasoning myself, but I have plenty of time to be mayor. Four years from now I will be seasoned even more, and should there be the need, then fine."

After the jump, our Q&A.

About a week ago, you hinted you weren't going to run. Then, there was an item in the paper about how you might run. And now, no. What changed?

My campaign promise and my focus has been -- and I've been very outspoken about it -- on redistricting. And at this particular point, there's plenty enough time left for me to run for mayor, but one of the most pressing issues facing the city and the city's future is the redrawing of the lines that will give better representation to the southeast part of the city -- Pleasant Grove, Buckner Terrace, that area. I promised when campaigning that would be my focus, and at this point it would be unfair to pull myself away when needed, now that we have a chance to better represent an area that is over-saturated with multiple council districts.

I think the leadership has been reflected through the mayor's accomplishments, because it's important folks understand, as it relates to my leadership and the council's leadership as a whole, we all supported his initiatives -- the hotel, the Trinity, the bond programs and things that we are being congratulated about, though "congratulated" may not be the right word. When you look at it, at the end of the day, is it my ego or is it what's best for the citizens? Hopefully, this position I am taking will reflect that with me, citizens are first, and the future of Dallas is paramount with me.

And it's most important that whomever becomes mayor that I am able to work along with them and that we are seeing things as close to eye-to-eye as possible, the same as happened with Mayor Leppert. It's important you know when you should and when you shouldn't.

When did you ultimately decide not to run?

That's a decision I needed to speak about with my family as well. And I did. And combined with my commitment, it's time to say what I am going to do so other folks can begin to know what they should do. It doesn't take long to know if it's something you want to do and are ready to do it. ...

But I will have my feet at the table and participate in vetting [the mayoral candidates]. My endorsement, I feel, will mean a lot and will carry folks from the Southern sector, so we will visit with the candidates. That's my plan. And we'll make sure they understand the issues, the need, the concerns. And at that point whoever we feel most comfortable with, I will throw my support behind -- and I mean 150 percent behind.

Does your decision have anything at all to do with the fact that had you run, you were going to be dogged by the poker house imbroglio, not to mention your pals Arthur and Archie?

Absolutely not. None of that stuff is bad. It's conversational, but it's not bad. So it has nothing to do with that. I've been beat over the head since 1991. That has nothing at all to do with it. A real leader is determined by decisions that are made that affect the people, and when you look at the fact that these decisions are being determined because of the effect it will have on the people -- and people not just in the present but 20, 30 years from now -- that's the sign of a  fairly smart person. Maybe not smart, but a committed servant. And I wish that more folks would see that.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky