The Dallas Morning News

Mayor weighs in on District 5 race

He backs challenger after frustratio­n over police budget vote

- By EVERTON BAILEY JR. Staff Writer everton.bailey@dallasnews.com

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson endorsed Yolanda Faye Williams to represent District 5 over incumbent Jaime Resendez and two other challenger­s in the May 1 election, Williams’ campaign announced Thursday.

The endorsemen­t — the mayor’s only one of 14 contested council races thus far — comes less than a week before early voting starts and follows some recent indicators of the mayor’s support for several challenger­s in three City Council races featuring incumbents.

Johnson declined to com

ment earlier this month when asked by The Dallas Morning News if he supported bids by Williams, Donald Parish in South Dallas’ District 7 and John Botefuhr in East Dallas’ District 9. The News uncovered that several of the mayor’s past donors gave to all three this year, and Johnson appears to almost exclusivel­y favor the trio on social media.

This is Williams’ fifth time seeking election.

Parish is among eight candidates in the District 7 race along with incumbent Adam Bazaldua. Botefuhr is one of three in a race that also features incumbent Paula Blackmon. Johnson, who lives in District 9, had not officially endorsed anyone else for the May 1 election as of Thursday.

Resendez, Bazaldua, Blackmon and Johnson were all elected in 2019.

The City Council vote last fall to decrease the Police Department’s overtime budget by $7 million has been a point of contention for Johnson, who has repeatedly voiced frustratio­n with the decision. The idea was backed by most council members, including Resendez, Bazaldua and Blackmon. Ultimately, the Police Department actually got more money.

Resendez said he wasn’t surprised by Johnson’s support for Williams in the southeast Dallas district but pointed out that she was overlookin­g “severe personalit­y flaws” in the mayor by accepting his endorsemen­t. The council member also accused the mayor of engaging in a misinforma­tion campaign about the police overtime budget.

“Eric Johnson is the most divisive and combative political figure in city politics in a generation,” Resendez said. “I believe his ineffectiv­e leadership and inability to garner support for his nonexisten­t agenda during a tenure marked by dysfunctio­n has led to this latest lapse in judgment.”

Johnson, in a statement released by Williams’ campaign, calls the former Park and Recreation Board member a “tireless advocate” for District 5, which encompasse­s Pleasant Grove, and says she understand­s issues facing area residents.

“I look forward to working with Yolanda Faye to reduce crime in our neighborho­ods and bring new jobs to Dallas,” Johnson said.

Williams called the mayor’s endorsemen­t a “huge honor,” saying that she’s ready to represent the district where she’s lived her entire life. Williams is a paralegal and substitute teacher.

Also in the District 5 race are human resources consultant Ruth Torres and Terrance Perkins, another former city Park Board member who is a firsttime City Council candidate. Torres ran for the same seat in 2019.

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 ?? Jason Janik/special Contributo­r ?? Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson has endorsed Yolanda Faye Williams for the District 5 council seat over incumbent Jaime Resendez and two other challenger­s.
Jason Janik/special Contributo­r Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson has endorsed Yolanda Faye Williams for the District 5 council seat over incumbent Jaime Resendez and two other challenger­s.
 ?? 2019 File Photo/staff ?? Yolanda Faye Williams called the endorsemen­t a “huge honor.”
2019 File Photo/staff Yolanda Faye Williams called the endorsemen­t a “huge honor.”

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