Longform

The "Doctor" Is In

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Lynch doesn't have a specific set of priorities that he would bring to the board. Instead, he says he just wants to do what's right for the kids.

"If we get someone in there who can bring a unity to the board, then that might help. We're supposed to stay focused on the children," Lynch says. "We don't need DISD to be used as a [political] stepping stone."

Lynch talks the right talk, and given his unflappable demeanor and his ability to shoulder criticism, he just might have the kind of qualities that would make for a good trustee. That is, if he doesn't get arrested first.

Political pundits often quip that the electorate gets the kind of government it deserves. Judging from the slate of candidates running in District 5's special election, the citizens of Dallas don't deserve a heck of a lot. A timid volunteer, a resume padder, a fugitive from justice--take your pick.

But it's Richard Evans who seems the solid front-runner: the mystery man who refuses to subject himself to public scrutiny despite running for public office; the "management consultant" who some would say has fraudulently held himself out as earning a doctoral degree; the rabble-rouser whose confrontational tactics have won him the respect of some and the disdain of others.

If Evans does win come August 8, there will be no honeymoon period, no chance for on-the-job training. The political forces that blindly catapulted him into office will have to live with him, as is.

In recent months, a momentary calm has beset the school board. But the NAACP's Alcorn says those days may be numbered, because he and his supporters are growing disappointed with trustee Hollis Brashear's performance as president. "There is a peace around the school board. I think that will be short-lived."

DISD Trustee Don Venable echoes the concerns of many who believe that Evans will bring his old game of race politics to the table, and the board will find itself where it was a year ago--embroiled in controversy fueled by people who would rather hurl racial invectives than work together.

Still, it's the political process that discourages truly qualified people from running and has coughed up this slate of unremarkable candidates. And if Richard Evans ever gives those powerful forces within the city cause to consider why they endorsed him in the first place, they can turn to the list of alternatives and comfortably answer: Why not?

For one DISD official, that answer just won't do: " If Richard Evans gets elected, it'll be like pouring gasoline on the fire.

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Rose Farley
Contact: Rose Farley