A half-dozen or so candidates remain in Dallas' mayoral race, hoping to navigate the rocky path to a one-on-one showdown and a runoff. Friday morning, former Dallas City Attorney Larry Casto announced he is no longer one of them.
Casto, a North Oak Cliff resident, said he believes his remaining in the race would've further muddied the important issues facing Dallas.
“I have said throughout this campaign that it’s time to make Dallas a priority. I didn’t just mean everyone else — first and foremost, I meant myself,” Casto said in a statement. "Unless we make significant changes, the next mayor will face the same reality that all previous mayors have faced — goals set and promises made on the campaign trail are rendered meaningless amidst the bickering and infighting of traditional city politics.”
After leaving his job as Dallas' director of legislative affairs and taking over as city attorney from Warren Ernst in October 2016, he helped dig the city out of two legal holes, working with the Texas Legislature on a compromise to keep the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System solvent and securing a settlement with the plaintiffs in Dallas' decades-old police and fire pay lawsuits.
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Either of those crises could've bankrupted the city; Casto entered the race having helped put them in Dallas' rearview mirror.
Of the six candidates to release campaign fundraising reports in the race so far, Castro ranked fifth, having raised $30,500 since getting in the race near the end of November. Businessman Albert Black, who entered the mayoral chase in the summer, leads the field in cash raised, having picked up more than $277,000 so far.
In his press release announcing his decision to drop out, Casto endorsed Design District developer Mike Ablon as the best candidate remaining in the field.
“Mike understands the needs of this city as well as anyone. He and I share the same goals for Dallas and the vision for how to achieve them,” Casto said. “Mike Ablon will be a champion for all citizens in all neighborhoods. By joining forces, we can make Dallas a priority.”