As early voting in the May 22 primary runoff election came to a close, a Dallas newspaper withdrew its endorsement in a county commissioner contest over allegations its recommended candidate is racist.

In a Friday night release, The Dallas Morning News editorial board withdrew its recommendation of Republican primary runoff candidate Vickers “Vic” Cunningham for Dallas County Commissioners Court Precinct 2:

“That decision is based on several pieces of information that have come to light in the final days of this campaign, in which Cunningham is competing against lawyer and businessman J.J. Koch.


“In 2010, Cunningham established a living trust for his children, the terms of which suggest a personal problem with diversity. The trust provides financial distributions to his children if they reach certain milestones, including marriage to someone who is white, Christian and of the opposite sex.


“Cunningham, speaking to The Dallas Morning News on Friday about this trust, said his views on interracial marriage have evolved since 2010, thanks in part to his son’s involvement with a woman of Vietnamese origin. But he said he cannot change the terms of the trust.


“Additionally, Cunningham’s estranged brother, Bill, told this newspaper that his brother has used the N-word for years, a claim echoed by Amanda Tackett, a former D magazine writer who is close to Bill Cunningham and worked on Vickers Cunningham’s 2006 campaign for Dallas County district attorney.


“While Cunningham denies using the N-word, the reporting by The News’ Naomi Martin leaves us unwilling to recommend him to potentially lead and serve Dallas County.”

The DMN said it originally recommended Cunningham “because we felt the former state district judge’s career left him best prepared for the job.” Texans For Fiscal Responsibility endorsed Koch in the primary and the primary runoff.

The revelations about Cunningham, and the DMN’s withdrawal of its endorsement, come too late for Dallas County voters who cast their ballots early. It remains to be seen how these developments will impact Election Day voting.

Early voting ended Friday. Election Day is Tuesday, March 22.

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.


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