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The City Club
901 Main Street
69th Floor
Dallas, TX  75202
United States of America

State Rep. Eric Johnson (D) and Dallas City Councilman Scott Griggs are running in a June 8 nonpartisan runoff election for mayor of Dallas, Texas. This is an open-seat race; incumbent Mike Rawlings (D), in office since 2011, was prevented by term limits from seeking re-election.

Both candidates discuss their records in elected office as evidence of their fitness to serve as mayor.

Johnson says he has a record of bringing people together across party and rural/urban divides in the state House, where he's served since 2010, and that he is the candidate to mend divisiveness on the Dallas City Council. He says he has worked to increase affordable housing and for full-day pre-K during his time as a state legislator.

Griggs says his record on the city council, where he first began serving in 2011, attests to his ability to accomplish things on the council. He lists among his accomplishments his role in passing salary increases for police officers and economic growth in the North Oak Cliff neighborhood he represents.

Economic development has emerged as a policy area of difference between the candidates.

Griggs said, "For far too long in Dallas, we’ve focused too long on the postcard, building the fancy bridges, building the convention center hotel, a golf course, a horse park. We need to get back to the basics."

Johnson said of development, "I don’t think it’s as simple as saying everything that’s not a pothole is a vanity project or everything that’s not fixing a street is a boondoggle. We need to have a certain amount of big dreams and big ideas but we also need to make sure the city works for its residents."

Griggs has been endorsed by several unions, including the Dallas Fire Fighters Association, as well as environmental and LGBT groups. Johnson's endorsers include NAACP President Arthur Fleming and a number of local business leaders, including Republicans, who signed a letter in February asking people to donate to his campaign.

For coverage of the May 4 general election, click here.

Dallas is the ninth-largest city in the U.S. with a population of 1.3 million. Johnson represents District 100 in the state House, which covers portions of Dallas and Mesquite and had about 161,000 residents as of the 2010 census. Griggs represents District 1 on the city council, which had around 84,000 residents as of 2011.

Dallas uses a council-manager system. In this form of municipal government, the mayor serves on the city council—the city's primary legislative body. The council and mayor appoint a chief executive called a city manager to oversee day-to-day municipal operations and implement the council's policy and legislative initiatives. The mayor of Dallas appoints city council committee members and chairs, determines what policy-related agenda items will be considered by the council, and makes policy and budget recommendations. The mayor does not have veto power.