Will Angela Hunt's Endorsement Decide Who's the Next Mayor of Dallas?

Categories: Get Off My Lawn

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The shoe hanging over the Dallas mayoral election right now is Angela Hunt's endorsement. Depending on which way she goes, Hunt will either give David Kunkle a serious shot at winning or hand Michael Rawlings a cakewalk.

Several weeks ago, before Hunt announced she was not going to run for mayor, knowledgeable sources not connected to Hunt were telling me that her name ID and favorables were polling very respectably in far-nose-bleed North Dallas. Farther south, away from the Oklahoma edge of town, her numbers were even stronger.

Hunt has huge cred all over the city. Every single thing she ever said about the Trinity River project has turned out to be true, earning her points for integrity and courage, not to mention being smart. She probably brings more game than any other person on the scene now. But she's not going to run for mayor, and that's just how it is.

I tried for weeks to find out who she was going to endorse, and I finally flat just gave up, but we can all see this much:

It will not be Natinsky. She has signaled that already.

It should be Kunkle. He's got the kind of David vs. Goliath profile that ought to appeal to her. Rawlings is Citizens Council. He even looks like Goliath.

But it could be Rawlings. Rawlings, let us not forget, is a Democrat. His work as the city's homeless emperor (I may have that title wrong) earned him a lot of respect from people in the Compassionate Camp.

Angela_Hunt_biking.jpg
Angela Hunt, kingmaker
And you know, so he's got the support of the Citizens Council. Maybe we should ask, who on the Citizens Council? Which members? What do they want him to do for them as mayor? Maybe it's not too bad. Maybe he doesn't have to kill anybody. Hunt's pretty adaptive. Rawlings could be the Citizens Council guy and still pass Hunt's muster -- in theory.

If Hunt did endorse him, then we could just call off the election and hand him the crown, because he's already got it.

If she goes with Kunkle, on the other hand, and gets out there and campaigns with him and helps him raise money, then all of a sudden Kunkle's long shot starts looking more like serious artillery.

Why would she go with Rawlings? You know what? I do not know, but I don't think her reticence on this matter is fake. The gears are turning in that head, and when those gears turn it's for a reason.

All I know for sure is this: Because of the way everybody else is arrayed and given the moment in time, Hunt's endorsement is the game.

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ObjectivityWhere?
ObjectivityWhere?

I must say that the tone of your article makes you appear to be on her campaign payroll. But se la vi, There seems to be little objectivity in journalism these days.

I seriously doubt that Angel Hunt's endorsement would assist any one in winning a mayoral election. You give far too much weight to a 3 term incumbent running twice on an unopposed Ballot and even unopposed winning by only 6,500 votes. tsk, tsk..

JimS
JimS

c'est la vie

Ellum08
Ellum08

Let me get this straight, Angela Hunt, a councilmember reviled by her fellow peers and most City staff is now the king-pin that will anoint the next Mayor of Dallas? Give me a freaking break.

If Angela 'polls so well' then why doesn't she run? Because she can't raise the money and can't pull North Dallas. Period. End of story.

I am a District 14 resident and will NEVER vote for Ms. Hunt for anything. She had a golden opportunity to really take a hard look at the city budget and hold Queen Mary's feet to the fire to get rid of a lot of waste at City Hall, but she took the easy way out. Add in her opposition to the Convention Center hotel, trying to tank the 'Forward Dallas' plan, Woodard's on Ross, the Goodwill drop-off on Haskell, and the Cesar Chavez widening and she is out in my book.

Zoningjunkie
Zoningjunkie

"Trying to tank the 'Forward Dallas' plan?" You obviously don't know much about it. No one in the room that day was trying to "tank" the plan. There were two plans on the table -- one recommended by the City Plan Commission and endorsed by homeowner groups, tailored to focus high density away from established neighborhoods, and one recommended by the city staff, intended to spread the "let the dirt fly" mentality along every major thoroughfare in Dallas.

Snookie Pie
Snookie Pie

As usual, Ellum08, you seem to think your opinions and thoughts are the only correct ones. Ms. Hunt is not reviled by all City Council. Ms. Hunt is admired and looked up to by almost all. They may very well wish she were not there to expose the dirty little games, but they all definitely know she's the smart cookie at the table, who has high standards and moral character. Also, Ms. Hunt is not reviled by City Staff. Again, almost all staff realize she's the only one at the table who knows what's going on and is super great to help work on projects.

Angela Hunt definitely does poll well throughout the City. And, although you like to think you are a know-it-all, you are not. No one is bringing you into the power back meetings in the Angela Hunt campaign. So, your statement that she is not running for mayor BECAUSE you say she has no ability to raise funds, it's your propoganda and not a fact. Angela has told you and everyone why she is not running for mayor. She told you but you wish to make false statements.

I like the fact that you will not vote for Angela Hunt for anything. Because the day a person of your thinking, a person who wants a taxpayer paid for hotel, who wants a "forward Dallas" plan--the day I find out that a person such as yourself is voting for Angela Hunt, is the day I need to worry about who I will vote for.

Ellum08
Ellum08

Calm down, Snooks! No reason to get so personal.

Although, judging from your rather impassioned reply, I must have struck some sort of nerve. Why is that?

Don't fret though, S-Pie, we'll continue to be on the opposite on most issues. It just seems that I'll be on the 'winning' side.

Good luck to you.

H Johnson
H Johnson

Are you joking? "High standards and moral character"? Where are you from? Mars. Where are those noble qualities you espouse? Hunts standards and morality goes whichever direction the winds of political contributions blow. HA HA HA..

Must be another paid commenter. I thought you guys were supposed to ad an annotation of paid for by the campaign

J. Erik Jonsson
J. Erik Jonsson

You like Forward Dallas and the taxpayer hotel?

Stop playing on the internet during work hours, Ms. Suhm.

Joshua
Joshua

Wait....isn't Ron Kirk running again? What with all the County officials being of that ethnicity and all....except for Judge Jerkins...who is a snowball.

Guest
Guest

Leave it to someone to bring race into something that has nothing to do with it. -sigh-

rubbercow
rubbercow

This is Dallas. Everything, literally, is about race.

Joshua
Joshua

Is Kunkle trying to make a police background connection with his Black and White campaign sighs, or is he just too cheap to buy colors, or is he wooing the color blind camp of voters....THIS IS IMPORTANT...I intend to use this issue to determine my VOTE!!

Snookie Pie
Snookie Pie

I thought the signs were navy blue and white. DPD uniforms are navy blue, aren't they?

Hasanmary
Hasanmary

I would vote for Angela in a heart beat but even if she endorsed Kunkle, I would never vote for him. I guess it's apparent who Schult is supporting.

Jim Schutze
Jim Schutze

Mary: you are the one I support, always.

Guest
Guest

All this talk about polling numbers yet no numbers posted to show us who is known or liked in any section of the city. Where's the beef?

Snookie Pie
Snookie Pie

my question, precisely. Who did this poll?where are results?

Zenga Zenga
Zenga Zenga

Wait Jim:You said the DCC ordained Natinsky as next mayor. Memba? Its when you uncovered the secret (Metroplex-based D Mag)-DCC cabal conspiracy that controls our fair city.

Thelisma Partridge
Thelisma Partridge

Based on last Thursday's forum at Hitt Auditorium, none of the mayoral candidates seemed to have a grasp of the issues. None seemed to have a well defined position on key questions, only sound bite responses. From what I heard I could not pick a preference or leader from them.

I expect that to change over the next few weeks as they fine tune their campaign messages, and then I can decide who to vote for - or against, if it comes to that. I imagine Ms. Hunt is waiting for the same reason.

Thelisma Partridge
Thelisma Partridge

PS: Sam, I did find my brain over the weekend.

Or rather, it found me...

Sam_Merten
Sam_Merten

Good to know. It happens to us all.

Diggerdoggg
Diggerdoggg

You insular people, you. Hunt's endorsement will have no bearing upon the outcome of the mayoral race.

No matter how many postings, no matter how many articles, no matter how many different (and always flattering) photos... neither you, Schutze, nor Wilonsky, will ever sniff Hunt's thing that rhymes with hunt.

Poker Face
Poker Face

No bearing, huh? I strongly disagree. I happen to know for a fact that both the Rawlings and the Kunkle campaigns are major worried and stressed over this one issue. Sunday before last, I had one hour phone conversation with key Rawlings campaign person who was seeking my endorsement. I've known this person for many years and we have worked together on other campaigns. The issue of which candidate Angela Hunt endorses or "gives the nod to" was obviously very front and center with the Rawlings campaign.

Ditto with Kunkle campaign, although, in this case it is common knowledge amongst all the campaign supporters that Kunkle is desperately seeking Angela's endorsement.

Hunt's endorsement will be the single most rocket boost either of those campaigns will receive.

Said another way: If they had to choose from either receiving Hunt's endorsement, or having the larger campaign warchest ($), they would not blink before grabbing Angela Hunt.

Joshua
Joshua

Does that right to sniff go along with an endorsement too? Wow...I LIKE that!

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

To "Just the facts, ma'am": He is indeed on the tax rolls. Lives in the M Streets.

Snookie Pie
Snookie Pie

I believe he is hard to find, because as a Police Chief he enjoys a privilege for protection that is given by State Code that will not allows DCAD to disclose his ownerhsip. Some bad guy might want to come bump him off or something.

When he was hired as Police Chief, our City Charter mandates that Police Chief reside inside City. He purchased home in M-streets.Still lives there. Just a few houses off Greenville Avenue.

Just the facts, ma'am
Just the facts, ma'am

A public servant is a public servant. Police Chiefs have no such protection you cite. Assuming that the DCAD listing that has been found is for Chief Kunkle (spelled on DCAD as Kunkel), this "Robert M Kunkel" lives on Ridgedale Avenue and had a previous address at the time of purchase in Arlington (sounds right), bought the Dallas property in 2004 in joint title on the house with a then wife named Kristin A.

Gary P. would be wise to read the DCAD listing on his own - it is, after all, public information, the house was built in 2005 and as a brand new home was valued at nearly $600,000. These are 'just the facts". No interpretation needed.

Public pensions and public salaries are just that - public. We the taxpayers write those checks. And the public has the right to know the facts about our public employees.

While many of us do think that our police and fire and teachers are underpaid, it is because of the fat cat benefits given to those at the top of these entities that causes little remaining for those not at the top. Ergo, those who double dip by compounding their public pension benefits by working for many different public entities during their career to maximize the value to them face even more scrutiny.

J Michael Daniel Jr
J Michael Daniel Jr

Personally profit? that is a good giggle. My child is autistic with seizure disorder. This child was non functioning when his mother decided to abandon him, thus she paid for it. The settlement afforded me to take the time and effort to resign from the company with the stock options and my child will be graduationg from HS in 3 months. The time and effort I have spent is priceless. The attorney....Cynthia Dillard. I suggest you troll elsewhere.

Guest
Guest

J Michale Daniel JR.. Dude, You are my new Hero.

Just the facts ma'am
Just the facts ma'am

J Micheal (below) would do us all a favor and name the famous Attorney who performed a miracle so the rest of us idiots won't be taken the the cleaners in the future. Likely Kunkle may want that name in the event of an emergency. Any single women reading this blog would be wise to avoid Mr. Daniel - especially those who are his economical unequals earning 1/5th of what he makes - you might have to pay for dinner and drinks and alimony! Most divorces are not contested for the sheer reason to protect children and not expose them to the expensive and contentious legal process, to minimize legal fees. Both parents should be willing to pay their fair share and what they can well afford, especially where the children are concerned. Your message that the ability to game that system and personally profit from it was your better day is a sad one, if it is at all even true.

J Michael Daniel Jr
J Michael Daniel Jr

"Now that you mention it, since Texas is a community property state, everything earned by both parties during the marriage is pooled and split 50/50, including the pension benefits earned while married"

Seriously? You may have some facts but you are a total idiot on that. I hired a great attorney that protected my 401K, stock options that will allow me to retire at 55, and I even got child support on top of that from the ex who made 1/5 of what I did(my best investment ever, even better than buying google at $35). What you stated is how it is perceived but hardly ever are done like that, the majority is negotiated out of court. It is only split like that if fully contested.

L_Streets
L_Streets

Kind of like how our "Worst Boss in America" Fire Chief is supposed to live in Dallas yet actually lives in Arlington and has a condo off of Live Oak to try and skirt the charter. This only after it was brought to the attention of the media that he had the city paying for a room in the Magnolia for his first 6 months on the job so he could be closer to work. Even the DCAD system shows his owner info as his Arlington address. http://www.dallascad.org/AcctD...

Just the facts, ma'am
Just the facts, ma'am

Thanks for doing the sleuthing. The DCAD has him as David M. Kunkel for anyone else who wants to know. Now help us understand how you can afford to get divorced 4 times as a public employee and still afford a new construction half a million dollar house? Inquiring minds want to know...Could it be that our Texas municipal pensions are as good as bankrupt California's? Taxpayers do not like paying for excessive public pensions or for rewarding public servants who game the system and double or triple dip.

Gary P
Gary P

yo, you...Just the facts....get your facts straight before you go working for Rawlings...Kunkle does not live in a NEW CONSTRUCTION home. And, All homes in MStreets...all start at 1/2 million. Even the shacks. It's the land that is so unbelievably overvalued because of the Develoers. But Kunkle bought before that. Before the land was overvalued. Angela hunt lives there, too. She earns $37,500/yr on city council. How can she afford it?

Why do you assume Kunkle's ex-wives are "dependent" on HIS pension? Ever hear of a female with a great career? Grow up and quit being a paid blogger. Your poison is not welcome here.

Joshua
Joshua

"The Develoers" would HAVE to be a Doo Wop group....no other WAY!

Just the facts, ma'am
Just the facts, ma'am

Now that you mention it, since Texas is a community property state, everything earned by both parties during the marriage is pooled and split 50/50, including the pension benefits earned while married. Maybe you are right and we can all hope that the good Chief got a great financial windfall by marrying highly paid ex wives with great careers - that's 4 of them now. Likely this is not the case. But perhaps we can all rest assured that he does not need to be elected to continue accruing pension benefits and is in good financial form with a young wife #5.

City Councilmembers and the Mayor are paid employees of the City as elected officials (we the voters get to choose them). They are term limited. As far as any of us are aware, they can have other careers while serving the City (Question to Sam/Robert: is this the case? How about those on the Dallas County Commissioner's who get paid big bucks and do not have term limits - would be good to sleuth that one out). Angela is a wonderful Councilmember who is likely being fully supported by her husband as she gives of her time to the Citizens of Dallas as an elected official. We are damn lucky for that.

Police Chiefs are paid employees of the City of Dallas, hired by the Mayor and Council, and we the taxpayers fund this position. This is a full time position. So is being the Asst. City Manager of Arlington, the Chief's prior position. Again, public employee of any municipal jurisdiction become part of their respective municipal pension funds. Police and fire is one fund. Municipal employees another. You can get aggregate pension funds working in many of these systems. You get a pension from your service to the City Council. Thus my original question.

Pay attention. Several California cities have declared bankruptcy or are financially in trouble based on the pension issue alone. Unless you are a civil servant whose own pension is on the line due to funding issues you would not understand the question. Read up on Vallejo California.

Lolotehe
Lolotehe

I'm going to name my band "The Develoers".

Roadstar1000
Roadstar1000

She is honest and just look at our neighborhood. Its the best in the city. We need a mayor who will stop with this crazy toll road crap and concentrate on the neighborhoods.

RS1963
RS1963

3...2...1...for the "I'm never voting for Hunt because she voted to increase my taxes by $27!!!!" blog posting tirades to begin.

I appreciate that Angela seems to do the research and provide logical, fact-based reasoning behind her decisions. And when she realizes that her first decision or vote may not be the best in the end, she's willing to say that she made a mistake.

Plus, unlike many typical politicians, she tells the truth and appears to be in it for the right reasons (improving her city) than why most of the council is there (improve their/their friends/their relatives' pocketbooks).

Joshua
Joshua

Would she tell White People to just "Go to Hell?"

Guest
Guest

Your jokes are not funny. You really should stop.

JimS
JimS

RS1963: What's interesting on that point is that Hunt polled well in the council districts where you would expect anti-tax mouth-foamingness to be at its highest.

Sam_Merten
Sam_Merten

That's because while all those R's know that raising taxes is a naughty phrase, they're also smart enough to realize it was necessary and also not really a tax hike.

Alanshepherd1980
Alanshepherd1980

How do you raise taxes and it not really be a tax hike? Is that akin to equating spending with investing?

Just the facts, ma'am
Just the facts, ma'am

There are a good many Independents (and middle of the road D's) in North Dallas these days...look at the numbers from 2008. The neighborhoods are generally politically diverse, and common sense really sells. Taxes being raised that stay within one's own community is not the same thing as being hit with a tax raise that benefits other jurisdictions.

Is Kunkle a property tax paying citizen of Dallas? Cannot find him on the DCAD rolls. It's easy to advocate tax raises to fund all sorts of things when you are not the one actually paying any part of the bill...

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