This is a weekly feature produced by my friend Ginger. Let us know what you think.
This week in news from DFW, we have a grab bag. Who’s in and out in the Democratic primary for CD-32; Collin County is split on voting machines and Ken Paxton’s impeachment; the Joppa asphalt plant is finally closing; HEB expands into Dallas, specifically South Dallas; various shenanigans in Fort Worth around race and LGBTQ diversity; your regular dose of Clarence Thomas and Harlan Crow; and last but not least, barbecue feuding and Dallas’ diversity of donuts.
- Two Texas lawmakers to launch campaigns to replace Colin Allred in Congress. It’s Rhetta Bowers and Julie Johnson, both state representatives in the DFW area. I don’t know much about Bowers (Garland & Mesquite) but I hear good things about Johnson (Farmer’s Branch). Already in the race is local surgeon Brian Williams, and per the DMN, CM Adam Bazaldua (D7, South Dallas) is also considering joining the race. There’s also an effort to recruit Dallas County Commissioner Elba Garcia (D4, west Dallas and Grand Prairie). Mayor Eric Johnson says he’s not running. As noted by our host, local civil rights attorney Justin Moore has also put his hat in the ring.
- This story about Collin County renewing its contract with its voting machine company is really all about how a lot of Republicans in Collin County don’t trust election results even when they elect Republicans. One can only imagine what will happen when a Democrat is elected to a county office.
- Related: as Charles noted earlier this week, Ken Paxton’s support in Collin County is getting shaky. Here’s a local story covering the same ground by the same reporter covering the voting machines. Unsurprisingly, she draws a link between these two issues splintering the Republican party in the area.
- Asphalt company president says production in Joppa to stop June 26. This is great news for a long-suffering Black community in South Dallas. Related, here’s an explainer on how the asphalt plant got into Joppa in the first place and how the TCEQ has consistently failed Joppa and other communities looking for clean air to breathe: Texas asphalt plants operate with limited oversight — and communities struggle with pollution.
- Good news from South Dallas: HEB is opening two Joe V’s Smart Shop stores in the next two years. Spouse and I looked into the part of South Dallas that’s just under I-30 when we planned our move to Dallas and it’s a grocery desert down there. These stores can’t come online soon enough.
- Following up on a previous story: O.D. Wyatt principal returns to campus following controversy over Facebook post. This is the Fort Worth high school where teachers dressed like students in ankle monitors and a counselor posted photos with captions describing the school as “ghetto”. The district and the principal are understandably trying to sweep the whole thing under the rug at this point, but at least they’re working on social media guidelines for the staff.
- Also in Fort Worth, there’s a small storm breaking about a local market that kicked a queer vendor out. As the Star-Telegram notes, the market is on murky legal ground federally, but the vendor would have to sue and state courts would probably rule against her. Her strategy of calling out the market on social media is probably going to be more successful.
- Speaking of homophobia in Fort Worth: Mayor Mattie Parker stands by her decision to remove an LGBTQ badge from the mayor’s reading program. She got complaints and removed the badge but is open to “continuous conversation”. In a silver lining, a council member is running a separate Pride reading challenge now that the mayor has backed off from her own pride.
- In this week’s edition of Six Degrees of Clarence Thomas, two notes. First, Harlan Crow continues to refuse to talk to the Senate about his gifts to Clarence Thomas on the grounds that he doesn’t have to just because the Judiciary Committee says so, so there! Meanwhile, the annual financial disclosure forms for Supreme Court justices are in. Unsurprisingly, Clarence Thomas received an extension (so did Alito)
- From Paschal High to Texas interim attorney general: John Scott learned to ‘stick with it’. Puff piece about the local roots of our interim AG in Fort Worth.
- There’s nothing more Texan than a barbecue feud and we have one going in the Metroplex: Lockhart Smokehouse vs Crossbuck BBQ, founded by their former pitmaster in 2022 after Lockhart fired him in 2020. As is usual in these things, it’s hard to tell from the filings and the feelings who’s in the wrong, but probably nobody is going to come out smelling like roses. As for the food, I’ve eaten Lockhart at their downtown Plano location and I’d eat there again, but I wouldn’t go out of my way for it. I haven’t tried Crossbuck (yet).
- In case you didn’t know, June 2 was National Donut Day and the Washington Post says Dallas is one of the donut capitals of the United States. We have “the best balance of doughnut density and diversity” with both a lot of national chains and craft shops. Providence has the greatest density and Salt Lake City has the most unique shops. Here’s the history of National Donut Day in case you feel a craving.