Philip Kingston is running for county commissioner

Former Dallas City Councilor Philip Kingston is running for county commissioner. It’s been an open secret since the end of last month, but it seemed to be getting less secret this week; he’s blocked more than a few conversations I’ve had since Monday. Kingston made it official today and filed the documents with Jason Whitely of the WFAA.

Kingston, a lawyer by profession, lost his seat on District 14 Council in 2019, gunned down by a banker and father and former SMU football player named David Blewett, whose platform was essentially that he was not Philip Kingston. He was out the next round and Paul Ridley, Kingston’s former planning commissioner, beat Blewett to win the seat in May.

Kingston says he had no intention of running for anything until he heard about how the county court was redesigning its districts. Each of the options showed that the Belmont Addition house in Kingston in East Dallas would no longer be in District 1, represented by Democrat Theresa Daniel. It would now be in District 2, the only Commissioners Tribunal seat held by a Republican – JJ Koch.

“I can’t be represented by someone like that,” Kingston told me Thursday afternoon. “It’s not ok.… There has been no particular demonstration of competence over grassroots political achievements for the good of the people of Dallas.

Here it is. What will he bring to the seat, if elected?

“I am a person who gets things done,” he said. “It’s a long list of things I’ve done and I’m very proud of it – quote and post, breaks for construction workers, all kinds of bond-funded projects that include connections and the urban planning in Dallas. I don’t see this in the direction of District 2 at this time.

I couldn’t reach Koch this afternoon, but he tweeted that Kingston “will do more to get me re-elected than one might imagine.” Thank you Philip and your huge ego!

Koch is probably best known for filing a lawsuit challenging County Judge Clay Jenkins’ warrant for mask; a state appeals court ruled in Jenkins’ favor, but the case was appealed to the Texas Supreme Court.

Koch also tried to appeal to court lawyers to block the redistribution of his district, which used census data to attract more Hispanic voters, likely diluting Republican influence. The maps adopted by the court have distributed likely Republican voters across three neighboring districts. After Koch expressed a desire to keep a pocket of “Anglo-Saxon people in the northeast corner” of the district, the Dallas Morning News reported that county voting rights consultants informed Koch that using race to determine boundaries would violate federal voting rights law.

But Kingston will have to get through the Democratic primary and opponents Andrew Sommerman, a litigator, and Tom Ervin, who works in mergers and acquisitions.

“I don’t think it’s unfair of me to say I’m the best prepared, including the starter,” Kingston said. “I think I know a lot more about how government works than anyone in this race.”

Prepare your popcorn, Dallas County.

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