Dallas Mayor Johnson Could Surpass Previous Campaign Giving Total

Mayor Eric Johnson appears to be on track to amass more than the $1.7 million he raised when he first ran for mayor in 2019.

From July 1 to December 31, the mayor of Dallas raised almost $466,000 for his re-election bid, and had over $1.2 million in cash during that period, according to the latest campaign finance reports. Meanwhile, 12 current council members eligible for re-election have raised more than $390,000 in campaign contributions in the second half of 2022 as they fight to retain their seats this spring.

The deadline for submitting the campaign report is April.

Johnson’s bill includes $5,000 each from The Potter’s House megachurch founder Bishop T. D. Jakes, former Dallas Mavericks head coach Avery Johnson, head of tax consulting firm G. Brint Ryan, his wife Amanda Ryan, real estate investor Ray Washburn, attorney Nickel Meade, president of an investment company. Doug Deason, lawyer and podcast host Jackie Pick Deason, Pinnacle Group CEO Nina Waka, and home textile company CEO Arun Agarwal.

Johnson also received $10,000 from the Greater Dallas Apartment Association, as well as $5,000 each from political action committees representing AT&T and American Airlines.

The Ryans, Disons and Washburn are among several major Republican donors who have supported Johnson, a Democrat. Mayoral and city council elections are non-partisan.

Agarwal is the appointed mayor on the Dallas Parks and Recreation Board and currently serves as chairman of the group. Agarwal also donated $1,000 to the re-election campaign of Councilman Adam Bazaldua, who is running for a third term representing District 7 South Dallas.

Waka was appointed by Johnson in 2021 as the city’s first resident entrepreneur, a volunteer who will advise the mayor and the city on how best to serve the Dallas entrepreneurial community.

Johnson said he spent more than $56,000, including nearly $20,000 in USPS postage and about $8,000 on the online fundraising platform Anedot.

Johnson’s only opponent who has publicly announced his candidacy for mayor and received permission from the city to raise donations for the race is community volunteer Kendal Richardson. A freshman candidate reported a single donation of $20, spending about $100 on business cards and running out of cash by the end of 2022.

The next largest campaign donation went to Council members Chad West (nearly $67,000), who represents District 1, covering North Oak Cliff, and Janey Schultz (nearly $57,000), who represents District 11 in North Dallas.

Councilors Jaime Rezendes ($5,000) representing Southeast Dallas District 5, Kara Mendelsohn ($13,000) representing Far North Dallas District 12, and Tennell Atkins (nearly $20,000) representing the District 8 in south Dallas were the officials who reported the lowest amount of campaign contributions collected in the last six months of 2022.

Councilwoman Paula Blackmon, who represents District 9 in East Dallas, including the White Rock Lake area, said she had more than $119,000 in cash on hand, with about $105,000 in the West.

Councilors Carolyn King Arnold, District 4 Representative in South Oak Cliff, and Jessie Moreno, whose District 2 covers an area that includes Love Field, Deep Ellum, Medical District, and parts of Downtown, both said they had no cash despite Moreno raised about $29,000 and Arnold reported over $38,000 in donations.

The full list of voters on the May 6 ballot is still being determined. The candidate registration period began on 18 January and will last until 17 February. Several sitting presidents, including Johnson and Blackmon, had not yet applied for or been eligible to vote on the ballot as of Tuesday morning.

Of the councilors representing the city’s 14 wards, two have reached term limits after serving eight years for four terms: Casey Thomas representing Southwest Dallas District 3 and Adam McGough representing Northeast Dallas District 10. Neither the mayor nor the other 12 eligible incumbents have said they will vacate their seats.

Early voting in the elections on May 6 will last from April 24 to May 2.

If any of the races for mayor or city council end with no candidate receiving more than 50% of the vote, the top two voters will advance to a runoff on June 10.

In two open races, no applications were made to the councils from those who wanted to run in District 3. In District 10, Kathy Stewart, former chief executive of Uptown Dallas Inc., reported raising nearly $29,000 between the end of October and the end of December.

Stewart’s donations included $1,000 from McGough, the current president. She said she had over $35,000 in cash on hand.

Another 10th district candidate, Brian Hasenbauer, a former member of the Dallas Community Development Commission, said he has raised more than $3,000 and has about $900 on hand.

Some notable donations include:

– Philanthropists Lydia and Bill Addy donated $1,000 each to West, Moreno, Basaldua, and Mendelsohn, as well as council members Omar Narvaez, who represents District 6 in West Dallas.

– Dallas developer Lucy Billingsley donated $5,000 to Johnson, $1,000 to Schultz and Narvaez, and $500 to Blackmon.

-Garrett Boone, co-founder of The Container Store, gave $1,000 to Moreno, Blackmon, and Gay Donnell Willis, who represent District 13 in northwest Dallas.

– Developer Leland Burke, who lost to Willis in the 2021 runoff election, donated $1,000 to her campaign and another $1,000 to Mendelsohn.

– Dallas County District Attorney John Crusoe donated $250 and Rep. Jasmine Crockett donated $500 to Basaldua.

– SMU football coach Rhett Lashley also donated $500 to Johnson.

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