The votes have been counted in the Dallas runoff elections, and State Representative Eric Johnson is mayor-elect. While this has been a hard-fought election cycle in Big D, there are some key impacts from these municipal races and a lot of valuable information to glean for your race.
About half of the current City Council and several former Dallas mayors endorsed Eric Johnson in the runoff. They added their support to that several local organizations, business leaders, political figures, and so many others. While Scott Griggs did garner some quality endorsements with both the local police and fire-fighters unions, the shear number of notable Johnson supporters likely had a tremendous impact on his electability.
Work your network
When Eric Johnson announced his candidacy for Mayor of Dallas, he was one of the last in the race. While this left him only a short time to actually campaign, he had spent a decade building his network before the opportunity to run was even a possibility. Before announcing, he made sure that he had early endorsements lined up and a large network of supporters spanning the entire city. In short, he planned ahead and had his campaign ready to hit the ground running. Councilman Griggs also had an effective campaign ready to hit the ground running, which is one of the reasons that he reached the run-off.
Build a coalition
When most candidates were veering toward the progressive left, Eric Johnson campaigned as a moderate liberal in the runoff. He reached out to conservative members of the city council and earned their endorsements. He did the same with moderate Democrats, city leaders, school board trustees, and people from all ideological backgrounds. Scott Griggs earned the support of the progressive citizens in Dallas, including several new councilmembers, but at Johnson’s bipartisan coalition was able to prevail at the end of the day. In races like these, it is helpful for centrists to gather support from across the aisle as the “best available choice.” Johnson did this well, and he will likely be in City Hall for a long time, as a result.
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