The tension in North Texas is building toward Super Tuesday, and it's not only in the presidential primary. Gromer Jeffers of the Dallas Morning News sat down to talk about another race with major implications.
Interview Highlights: Gromer Jeffers…
…On the feud between John Wiley Price and Dwaine Caraway:
“They’ve been rivals for a long, long time. And he goes back to the mid 1990s when Caraway was trying to be head of the Dallas chapter of the NAACP. Price opposed him there. He was in a established politician, Dwaine was up-and-coming in terms of electoral politics and his visibility. But it seems like at every turn, Price would oppose him.
This race has been coming for a long time. Caraway has always wanted to do a couple of things. First, he’d love to be [Dallas] mayor. That's not really in the cards. But he's always wanted to run against Price in being on the Dallas County Commissioner’s court, so this was the perfect opportunity for him.”
…On Price’s challenge:
“Price is under indictment. He's run under the specter of this federal investigation before, but never against a candidate like Caraway. Caraway has strong name recognition: eight years on the council. This was an opportunity to really test Price to see if he still ‘had it’ in terms of his electoral powers and electoral might.”
…On how the fight will affect the race:
“I think before the scuffle. It was going to be full on referendum on Price’s leadership, his 30 years on the court and whether he should bow out and give Caraway a chance to show what he could do. Now, all the talk about the issues and the needs of that district is gone now. It's all about the fight.”
…On Cruz’s challenge in Texas.
“Because of the way the delegates are proportioned, there are 155 [Republican] delegates, but it’s not winner-take-all. That’s bad news for Cruz because Trump can come in an area like North Texas, have a big rally and get a lot of delegates. It’s really critical for Cruz to try to maximize his delegate total here in his home state. He may squeak out a win, but he may not get the delegates he needs to make that big statement.”
…On whether a presidential primary has had this kind of excitement:
“On the Republican side: no. You probably have to go back to 1976 to get a Republican race where Texas had any sort of impact. And that's why folks are so excited about this primary. There's drama here.”
Gromer Jeffers covers politics for the Dallas Morning News.