In a call to unify behind one candidate in the runoff between Domingo Garcia of Dallas and Marc Veasey of Fort Worth to be the Democratic Party’s nominee for the newly formed Congressional District 33, more than 30 local Latino, Anglo, and African-American civic leaders and racially diverse organizations, have thrown their support to Garcia, according to a press release from Garcia’s campaign.
The Rev. Kyev Tatum, who ran for the 33rd seat and lost, confirmed today that the Black, Brown and Tan Caucus that he helped found, has endorsed Garcia as well. The group is made up of a mix of racially diverse civil rights leaders, ministers and community activists who organized last year to come together as one to successfully lobby for the hiring of Walter Dansby, the first black superintendent in the Fort Worth schools history. Now they are throwing their weight behind Garcia, said Tatum, a civil rights activist for 26 years, because of Garcia’s long and positive record on civil rights.
Veasey, an African American who has been endorsed by a number of Dallas groups including the Dallas Morning News editorial board, has lost key supporters in his former Fort Worth state representative district 95, including Kathleen Hicks, former city council member and former state rep Glenn Lewis, whom Veasey unseated several years ago. Hicks was an also ran for 33, coming in third in a race that had 11 candidates. Both Hicks and Lewis, formidable black leaders, announced their support for Garcia today. Hicks called him a “champion of the individual, small business and laborers…the people who need a voice.”
The 29 local civic leaders listed on Garcia’s endorsement page include City Councilman Sal Espino, Fort Worth ISD trustees Juan Rangel and J.R. Martinez, Dorothy Scherr, Arlington ISD trustee Gloria Pena, Nancy Galvan, the Fort Worth Hispanic business woman of the year, Sergio and Susana De Leon Sr., Association of Texas Professional Educators president of the local chapter, Raul Duran, and the United Hispanic Council Redistricting Committee chair Fernando Florez. Many are also members of the BB&T Caucus.
For blacks to throw their support to an Hispanic candidate over an otherwise popular black candidate — who also has the support of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram editoral board — speaks volumes about the changing dynamics of Tarrant County politics. One of the BB&T caucus founders, Bishop Billy George, told Fort Worth Weekly that the group formed when key community leaders realized that working separately “we were always going to be a minority, together, we are a majority.”
That strategy worked in getting Dansby hired. Come July 31, election day, the results will tell us if it can work for Garcia.