The fallout continues from Monday’s meltdown between two Dallas County commissioner candidates.
John Wiley Price and Dwaine Caraway both apologized Tuesday for their outburst during a candidates debate at a gospel radio station.
Price, the incumbent, talked with KKDA radio Tuesday morning.
“Let me just say I’m embarrassed for our community,” Price said. “You know, I apologize to our community. Other people want to see this stuff stirred. But unfortunately there just seemed to have been a meltdown yesterday. We’re all worse for it.”
During a commercial break at the KHVN radio debate, Price and Caraway hurled obscenities and insults at each other. Both got out of their seats – and Caraway was moved to another room. The argument was captured on video – and Dallas police are investigating.
Caraway, a former Dallas City Council member, talked with reporters at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
“I blew it yesterday," Caraway said. "In saying that, that is not what I’m known to do. I’m known to be a very calm person, getting things done and producing results. There were insults being hurled at me and I simply lost my cool.”
This all comes just a week before the March 1 primary for Dallas County Commissioner. In addition to Price and Caraway, there are two other candidates: Cedric Davis and Micah Phillips.
Our original story: Dallas County commissioner candidates John Wiley Price and Dwaine Caraway got into a heated argument Monday afternoon – and Caraway was taken out of the room.
The dispute, filled with profanities and accusations and captured on video, took place at KHVN, a North Texas gospel radio station. The commissioner candidates were at the station for a debate.
The candidates, including Micah B. Phillips, were at the station to talk about their campaigns. According to news director Robert Ashley, the altercation broke out during a commercial break and police were called to the scene.
In video filmed by Phillips and obtained by News 8, several people can be seen holding Caraway back as he yells out at Price.
'They came in angry'
Cedric Davis, one of the commissioner candidates, was in the room during the altercation. Davis told KERA's Bill Zeeble that Caraway called Price a liar.
“And John came back and called him a liar,” Davis said. “And Dwaine made a comment toward him and so he said ‘I’m not scared of you, John.’”
“It was just mayhem in there, man,” Davis said.
“I was shocked because first of all, these are our leaders, these are supposed to be our mentors. … This is how they behave? I ain’t gonna lie. It just shocked me. But I saw it coming. … They came in angry.”
Watch the video
One of the county commissioner candidates, Micah B. Phillips, sent video of the fight to media outlets.
The Dallas Morning News posted this video on YouTube:
In the video, a woman yells at some of the visitors: "Get out! What’s wrong with y’all! This is a gospel radio station!" She pounded on a door frame.
But after briefly arguing about their political positions, the debate turned into a personal shouting match that threatened to get physical, said Micah B. Phillips, who is also running for commissioners court. Phillips took video of the altercation and provided a copy to The Dallas Morning News.
The argument started after Caraway attacked Price’s record, and then Price accused Caraway of lying. But it quickly devolved into profane shouting, with Caraway hurling accusations at Price about a sexual relationship Price had with “my wife,” Caraway said. It’s unclear what Caraway was referring to.... Caraway said Phillips’ video doesn’t tell the whole story. Caraway said Price got mad when Caraway’s commercial played during a break. Caraway said Price grabbed and choked one of Caraway’s campaign workers, who was “the smallest person in the room.”
Police are investigating
The Dallas Police Department issued a statement: “We are aware that there may be multiple video recordings of the altercation that took place and detectives are working to secure them. A portion of the disturbance was captured on video and has been released to the media. Detectives from the Assaults Unit of the Crimes Against Persons Division are working to interview the involved parties and witnesses to the incident.”
Caraway vs. Price
Caraway and Price have long been political foes.
"They’re not best buds," Jeffers told KERA. "They really dislike each other. It goes back a long way. Caraway is a jovial, friendly guy. He doesn’t like Price. A lot of the bitterness has come from Price through the years, sort of opposing Caraway every step of the way. He opposed Caraway when he wanted to be the president of the local chapter of the NAACP. In 2001 … Price opposed Caraway’s campaign for City Council. Caraway was trying to replace his wife, Barbara Mallory Caraway, and Price backed Ed Oakley, a white candidate in a mostly black district. It was symbolic of a feud going on for many years."
Jeffers continued: "The fact that Caraway is running against Price – Caraway has always wanted to get on the City Council. He’s done that. The other thing he wants to do is beat John Wiley Price in an electoral contest."
More about the Dallas County Commissioner race
KERA’s Bill Zeeble reports on the primary fight that features Price and Caraway:
In office since 1985, Price, a Democrat, has breezed through past primaries. They count because Republicans almost never win in southern Dallas come fall. Four years ago, when the FBI was only investigating Price, he took 76 percent of the vote. Now with a 109-page, 11-count indictment against Price, opponents hope their odds are better. Caraway, who served eight years on the City Council, says it’s time for a change on the county commissioners' court.