Philanthropist enters Dallas mayor’s race
Mcbee has worked for years on homelessness, education, other issues
Lynn Mcbee has been called many things during her two-plus decades as one of Dallas’ hardest-working philanthropists.
Among the monikers: a “fundraising powerhouse and volunteer extraordinaire,” according to D Magazine; “one of Dallas’ most recognized faces of philanthropy,” Papercity wrote. And a “super-volunteer,” read a headline in The Dallas Morning News.
She is now seeking another title: mayor of Dallas.
Late Friday, Mcbee confirmed long-circulating rumors that she would run to
replace a termed-out Mike
She made the decision despite a big hurdle: The 50-yearold Mcbee has long lived in Highland Park.
Mcbee said Friday in a brief interview that she had moved in August to downtown Dallas.
She had to move to the city if she wanted to be the mayor; the City Charter requires mayoral candidates to have lived in the city limits for no less than six months before an election. She’ll meet that threshold, as the election is in May.
Her campaign treasurer report, submitted Friday to the city secretary, lists as her current residence a luxury apartment building across from Klyde Warren Park.
Mcbee said she and her husband of 14 years — Allan Mcbee, an oil and gas man — plan to sell the 1920 house they share near the Dallas Country Club.
“I moved to Dallas to be close to downtown, to be close to my job, to be close to everything I love,” she said. “Now let’s talk about the key issues I am going to try to tackle.”
Mcbee said Friday night that she had been considering a run since June and finally decided the time was right. She’ll face a field that already includes Larry Casto, most recently the city attorney; Regina Montoya, a one-time member of the Clinton administration; and Albert Black Jr., a former chair of the Dallas Regional Chamber. Others — including at least one Dallas City Council member, a former state representative and a current Dallas ISD trustee — have also been contemplating runs.
“After 25 years of lots of hard work and seeing what needs to be tackled and doing all the things I believed in, it was the time,” Mcbee said. “I did a lot of reflection on it, and it’s the culmination of a lot of hard work and success and finding solutions to Dallas’ most difficult problems — education, homeless, a long list of things.”
Mcbee is intimately familiar with education and homelessness. She’s CEO of the Young Women’s Preparatory Network, which provides Stem-based education to girls at campuses throughout the state. And she’s the chair of the board at The Bridge, the downtown homeless assistance center. She also sits on the board of the Dallas County Community College District Foundation, which raises corporate and private money to fund the education of students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford college.
That’s only part of the former biochemistry consultant’s lengthy résumé of civic work. She has been chair of the boards of the Family Place Foundation, the Dallas Film Society and the Dallas Historical Society. She also spent time on boards at the AT&T Performing Arts Center, the Salvation Army, Southern Methodist University’s Dedman College, the University of Texas College of Natural Sciences and more than a dozen others.
In 2015, she told The News that her spirit of volunteerism “started when I was a young child: Simply put, it’s a tradition in my family.”
Running for mayor, she said Friday, is just “taking my long record of service to the next level.”
Her campaign treasurer is John Levy, who runs his family’s business, NCH Corp. A media release said Mcbee already counts among her supporters real estate professional Lucy Billingsley and car dealer Clay Cooley.
Mcbee knows her Highland Park history will crop up repeatedly during candidate forums and debate.
“Without the 25 years of being a servant leader, it’s a valid argument,” she said. “But it’s not a valid argument when you’ve been giving 25 years to Dallas’ most critical issues.”