Kirk Re-Elected in Dallas; April Elections Cycle Brings Change Elsewhere
Pionke, John, Nation's Cities Weekly
Mayor Ron Kirk of Dallas, Tex., was re-elected to his second term. He garnered three-fourths of the vote, easily out distancing his two opponents at the polls.
Kirk's platform included working with the city manager to clean up blighted neighborhoods, repair streets and bring growth to southern Dallas. He also plans to continue with his controversial downtown re-vitalization project known as the Trinity River project which includes a new downtown arena.
"I am even more committed than I was before to making sure that the Trinity River project stays on track," Kirk said. "All around this city we heard from people who said, `we want you to put the same energy behind improving our streets and making our city better as you have the Trinity project.' I believe we haven't neglected them, but in this business, perception is as important as reality."
Incumbent San Antonio Mayor Howard Peak was re-elected with 85 percent of the vote in a five-way race. Voter turnout was light, with only 7.5 percent of eligible voters going to the polls.
"Its been a great victory, not just for me, but for the bonds," Peak said, as voters also approved a $140 million package to improve streets, drainage, flood control, parks and recreation, libraries and public safety.
In El Paso, Mayor Carlos Ramirez was re-elected with 56 percent of the vote. Ramirez beat out three other candidates.
Blanca Sanchez Vela, the wife of a federal judge, defeated incumbent Mayor Henry Gonzalez of Brownsville. Vela received 56 percent to Gonzalez's 44 percent.
Grady Barr was elected mayor of Abilene, defeating A. …