Former Mayor Laura Miller To Take On Gates in Dallas City Council Race

The Dallas Observer cover from the 1997 issue in which Laura Miller announced her run for City Council.EXPAND
The Dallas Observer cover from the 1997 issue in which Laura Miller announced her run for City Council.
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Former Dallas mayor and Observer columnist Laura Miller is running for Dallas City Council. Miller filed paperwork with the city Friday afternoon, just beating the 5 p.m. filing deadline, to challenge north central Dallas incumbent Jennifer Staubach Gates in District 13.

D Magazine broke the news that Miller was considering taking another shot at local public office late last night.

Over the last several years, Miller, who owns property in Preston Hollow, has clashed frequently with Gates, primarily over proposed redevelopment around Preston Center, near Preston and Northwest Highway. Gates wants to rezone the area to allow for high-rise apartments. Miller, as she explained in an op-ed in The Dallas Morning News, does not, because she and other residents believe that bringing more people to the area will make an already bad traffic situation worse.

"This is going to be a referendum on development in District 13," Miller said Friday at City Hall in a video posted to YouTube by the DMN. "Now and in the future the homeowners in our area are under siege by developers who are fully supported by our councilwoman with no regard to traffic and pedestrian and parking problems. The homeowners need an advocate, and I am happy to be their advocate."

Miller has also gone after Gates at public meetings and on social media. She's tweeted six times since opening her Twitter account in December, going after her council member each time.

Gates did not mention Miller by name in a Friday afternoon statement to reporters.

"I've got a solid record of leading for basics like streets, infrastructure and police, and that's where I'm focused going forward. That's why I chose to run for re-election — to keep leading for these basics, and to keep our neighborhoods strong. We're on the right path, and we need to stay the course," Gates said.

Miller was first elected to the City Council in 1998 while living in Oak Cliff. She served nearly two terms on the council before winning a special mayoral election to replace Ron Kirk when Kirk left office to run for U.S. Senate. Miller won a full term as mayor in 2003.

During her time in the city's top elected job, Miller frequently butted heads with Mayor Pro Tem Don Hill, who successfully led the fight against a ballot measure that would've made Dallas a "strong-mayor" city and won $43 million in city funding for Victory Park, over Miller's objections. 

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