Nearly One-Third of James Nowlin's Campaign Dough Came From Outside Dallas, But at Least Some Donors Have Dropped By For a Visit

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

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

Shortly after city council candidate James Nowlin filed his campaign finance report Friday afternoon, he was beaming about raising $51,000 compared to incumbent Angela Hunt's $28,700 haul during the reporting period that ended April 4.

"Dallas has spoken, and the voters of District 14 have spoken," he told Unfair Park.

When we posted our story about the council candidates' filings, Nowlin had just submitted his report, with Hunt's following minutes later, so we didn't have a chance to take a close look at either one.

Turns out 32.6 percent of the money raised by Nowlin came from donors outside city limits, including $5,000 from Charter Oak -- a tiny city in western Iowa with fewer than 1,000 residents. Thirty-six contributors from 15 different states and the District of Columbia accounted for $14,580, while another 30 donors from 17 different Texas cities including Houston and Austin gave a total of $3,870.

Nowlin, who's openly gay, received donations from John Arrowood -- the first openly gay man to hold an elective office in North Carolina -- gay rights activist Nan Schaffer and political activist Karen Dixon. Other out-of-state contributions came from graduates of Duke University, where Nowlin attended law school.

"I'm proud of all the support I've received," Nowlin says. "Many of my supporters have visited Dallas and live in Dallas. And I am proud that people are supporting change in District 14 and supporting my candidacy."

Hunt reported seven contributions outside Dallas, with none from other states. Only $1,350 was from other Texas cities, including a $700 in-kind donation from the Texas Democratic Party in Austin and $100 from the Dallas Retired Firefighters Association in Carrollton.

Hunt declined to comment for this story.

By the numbers:


  • 188 total contributions: $50,996.38
  • Contributions under $50: $95.17
  • 122 contributions from Dallas: $32,546.24
  • 66 contributions from outside Dallas: $18,450.14 (32.6 percent of total money, 35.1 percent of donations)
  • 36 contributions from outside Texas: $14,580.00 (28.6 percent of total money, 19.1 percent of donations)
  • 30 contributions from other Texas cities: $3,870.14


  • 143 total contributions: $28,749
  • 136 contributions from Dallas: $27,399
  • Seven contributions from other Texas cities: $1,350 (4.7 percent of total money, 4.9 percent of donations)

*Candidates Brian Oley and Vernon Franko raised just $1,600 combined.

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.