- The Washington Times - Monday, January 21, 2002

DALLAS Populist Laura Miller and establishment candidate Tom Dunning continued their hard-fought campaigns to become mayor of Dallas yesterday after Saturday's balloting gave neither the more than 50 percent needed to win.
Mrs. Miller, a City Council member who insisted the city should spend more time improving city services, parks and streets instead of erecting multimillion-dollar arenas and showplaces, led Saturday's balloting with 64,224 votes, or 48.5 percent of the record 132,405 who cast ballots.
Mr. Dunning, the business-backed candidate who ran with heavy backing from ex-mayor Ron Kirk and most of the council members, got 51,302 votes, or 38.75 percent.
State representative Domingo Garcia, who tallied 14,631 votes (11.05 percent) in his second try to win the mayor's chair, finished third.
Mr. Garcia yesterday afternoon endorsed Mr. Dunning. He said Mr. Dunning had agreed to sponsor a Hispanic or black for membership in the now all-white Dallas Country Club, where Mr. Dunning is a member.
Others suggested that Mr. Garcia, who is running for re-election to the state legislature this year, was also promised aid in that campaign.
The runoff date for mayor is Feb. 16. Whoever wins will serve 15 months, finishing the term of Mr. Kirk, who resigned Nov. 7 to run for the U.S. Senate.
A last-minute radio and television blitz almost all of it negative against Mrs. Miller, an ex-journalist appeared to help Mr. Dunning make the runoff.
"Negative ads," Mrs. Miller said, "won't fill a single pothole, put one child in a decent classroom or pay our police officers to keep us safe."
Mr. Dunning refused to acknowledge his ad campaign, which depicted Mrs. Miller as shrill and combative in her battles on the council the past three years, as negative.
He characterized them as "contrast" ads.
Voters approved a mammoth bond proposal of $1.37 billion the largest passed in Texas history by 78,351 to 21,519.
It will allow the Dallas Independent School District to build 20 schools and remodel 36 existing ones.
All of the mayoral candidates endorsed it.

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