The Dallas Morning News

Candidate: Partner called restaurant

- By JULIETA CHIQUILLO Staff Writer jchiquillo@dallasnews.com Twitter: @jmchiquill­o

A Dallas City Council candidate acknowledg­ed Tuesday that his partner called an Oak Lawn restaurant to ask for the removal of another candidate’s political sign but said his partner did not threaten the eatery with a boycott.

The candidate, Omar Narvaez, is running for a seat in the West Dallas area, not in Oak Lawn. But the sign involved was in support of a candidate in Oak Lawn who is running against Narvaez’s political ally, council member Philip Kingston.

BuzzBrews owner Ernest Belmore said last week that his Lemmon Avenue restaurant took down a sign for council candidate Matt Wood after a man called to complain and accused Wood of being antiLGBT.

The restaurant manager who answered the call said he took a picture of the person’s caller ID informatio­n: The phone screen read “Narvaez Omar” and listed a cellphone number connected to Narvaez’s partner, Jesse Vallejo. The manager said the caller told him that he was worried he would have to “rally the troops” to stop going to BuzzBrews.

Wood’s campaign denied the allegation that he was against the LGBT community and accused Narvaez of being involved with the call, citing the political support he has from Kingston.

During an editorial board meeting at The Dallas Morning News on Tuesday, Narvaez said his partner called the restaurant to ask that Wood’s sign be removed.

“He made a call because he does eat there quite often because he works in the area,” Narvaez said. “And it was nothing that was coordinate­d with any campaign. He did not threaten for a boycott.”

Narvaez said the call had nothing to do with his campaign.

“I don’t control my partner and say who he can and cannot speak to or talk to,” Narvaez said. “That’s just not how our relationsh­ip works. He does happen to support Mr. Kingston, which I think is just fine on his end.”

When first contacted about the matter, Narvaez declined to answer questions, saying he knew nothing about the call. Vallejo texted a reporter that he didn’t know anything about a call for a boycott but didn’t return calls or follow-up text messages.

Narvaez, a policy coordinato­r at Lambda Legal, is running against five others for the District 6 council seat, including incumbent Monica Alonzo.

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