^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
4

GOP Hispanics Not Only Group Trying to Keep Okpa From Having His Say in Mayor's Race

Turns out the Dallas Chapter of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly isn't the only organization minimizing the mayoral candidacy of Edward Okpa. As we reported Friday, local RNHA chair Jason Villalba originally excluded Okpa from tonight's debate at Thomas Jefferson High School. He later reconsidered after receiving phone calls from candidate David Kunkle and several ticked off RNHA members.

The Dallas County Chapter of the Texas Council of Engineering Companies won't have the same opportunity to change its mind, as we just discovered Okpa wasn't a part of this afternoon's forum at Cityplace. Whilst tracking down a list of upcoming debates, we noticed Okpa's name missing from the organization's invite, so we contacted him shortly after the event to see if he was there.

In a text to Unfair Park, Okpa said he wasn't aware of the forum.

Vicki Reece, executive director for the Dallas & Tarrant County Chapters of the TCEC, said via email there were only three candidates when the meeting was planned in February.

So why not extend an invitation when they realized he was in the race?

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

"When he announced his candidacy for Mayor, our program had already been scheduled, announced and marketing of the program was underway," she said in an email. "We did not have sufficient time to reorganize the program and announce changes to our membership."

Okpa filed his campaign treasurer on February 11 -- one day after candidate Mike Rawlings. Okpa submitted his petition signatures on March 8 -- two days before Rawlings.

We asked Kunkle why he expressed concern about tonight and not this afternoon, and he says his schedule is so busy he doesn't have time to pay attention to who's been invited to what among the other candidates. The only reason he made a stink about tonight's debate is because someone called his attention to our story.

"I didn't know that he wasn't going to be at the meeting today until I walked in the room," he says. "I can barely keep track of where I'm going, much less who else is going to be there."

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.